A Little update

The other week Helping Hand held the first of what will hopefully be a series of meetings entitled “Encourage and Inspire”. The idea is to invite guest speakers to share about their own life experiences and tell the children that they CAN follow and achieve their dreams. Channy Leng was the first to be invited and she spoke about her successful clothing business (She makes clothes, bags and other fashion accessories) and how she had achieved this. She is a good example of a successful businesswoman and the children were keen to listen to her.

Thol Sreynin received her certificate for the most improved Helping Hand student in March, moving up 10 places in her class in the last 3 months! She had the pleasure of it being awarded to her by Mam Yoeun the Beltei Deputy Principle.18253982_1108139069291447_2115284688_n18217759_1108139089291445_139419521_n

Unfortunately Chanthy, Helping Hand’s Cambodian coordinator, was involved in a road accident the other day when a 12 year old boy crashed into her on his moto. The boy was unhurt but Chanthy was taken to a clinic and had some stitches put in her chin and has injured her leg. Her moto was badly damaged and has been sold. Please pray for a quick recovery for her.

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Happy Days at Helping Hand

It was a pleasure to be in Phnom Penh when the latest two children from Helping Hand were enrolled at Beltei School. Sokom was so excited that he cried and Srey Pich ran all the way from the bus she had caught to meet us and get enrolled. Both come from very poor backgrounds and live in a nearby slum village.

This month Helping Hand was pleased to award Srey Mey with a certificate of achievement for being the most improved student last month. This was partly due to her having  laptop to use, provided by her sponsors. Helping Hand are currently looking for more laptops so we can help our children help themselves more.P1120550 On Sunday we gathered all the Helping Hand children and some of their parents together at Beltei School so we could all get to know each other a little bit better. The children were asked to come to the front and share a little about themselves and Chanthy and I explained about Helping Hand and gave them all a chance to ask us any questions about our charity. All but one of the children live in the same village and there is a real sense of community about what we are trying to do….basically it’s just great fun to be with them 🙂 and I am really pleased with their achievements so far but most of all their excellent attitude towards learning.P1120775


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The Story So Far…

I have been in Cambodia now for just over two weeks and have managed to keep myself quite busy. Here are a few more things that Helping Hand has been doing…..

Three of our children were given small amounts of money by their sponsors so we took them and some of their family on a shopping trip to one of the main markets in Phnom Penh to treat themselves.

Last week I was introduced to Sokren Sang of Comfytravel and Soknang Rich Chea who runs a Khmer American online company KATVonline. Both of these men helped out with our trip to The Royal Palace and National Museum for our children. Comfytravel were good enough to provide the transport for the trip and KATVonline provided breakfast for everyone followed by lunch at Pizza Company.17308833_1887795288131266_2746809223140169230_nEach of our children brought with them one friend/family member so there were over 40 of us in all. It was another Grand Day Out and a chance for everyone to have a day away from their own environment which far removed from that of The Royal Palace… KATVonline interviewed some of the children about their trip and they were able to share their thoughts with many Cambodians in America where the TV company operates.

We were greatful to The Royal Palace who charged just $1 for all 40+ of the Cambodians to enter; money saved that can be spent on other things for them.(Foreigners are charged $10…!)


We were also greatful to the landlady who owns the land on which the slum is built. She has allowed us to plant a well and build toilets in the slum village, at present there is no access to free fresh water and there are no toilets in any of the houses….I think she liked her Isle of Wight cookies….

Each month Helping Hand is able to provide rice to 10 families in the village which is paid for by individual sponsors. It may not seem like a lot to some people but it can relate to up to three weeks food for some families..


P1120500If anyone would like to find out more about the work of Helping Hand, or are interested in sponsoring a child to go to Beltei school or would like to sponsor a family with rice from just £10 a month, please email me at duncan2008bell@aol.com

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Back to the Kingdom of Wonder

So here I am back in the country they call “The Kingdom of Wonder” for a four week stay to oversee and help promote the work of Helping Hand Cambodia. I was given a generous donation of clothes ,toys and gifts for the children and families in the slum in which we work in the Chmbar Ampov district in the south of Phnom Penh.P1110869

Giving these gifts out was such a blessing and so much fun! The children were very well behaved and disciplined……in the beginning ! There seemed to be something for everyone and none of the children were left out.P1110951


Thank you to those who donated these gifts, it is hard to impress how much they were appreciated.

Earlier this week we met with the Principle of Beltei school which is where the children who are sponsored go to school. It is just 10 minutes away from the slum in which they live yet a world removed from the enviroment in which they are growing up in. He is very supportive of what Helping Hand is doing and is impressed by how well the children are doing and their attitude towards learning.

One of the girls who is sponsored handed us a letter to her sponsor as soon as we arrived in the slum. Her younger sister also wanted to write a letter; again the writing is so good considering how long they have been learning English.

Next week we have more surprises for the children, watch this space……..



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Good Times at School

As from the start of this year Helping Hand is awarding certificates to the most improved student in their class grading each month. This is just a small acknowledgement of their achievements and encourages all to do well, not just the brightest ones. This month both Ny Chy Ya and Pisey improved 9 places and were each awarded their certificate by Chanthy last week.16831510_1040617456043609_1197022391_n16809192_1040621496043205_1030787772_nBoth of their parents were happy to see Ny Chy Ya’s and Pisey’s achievements recognised and it is fair to say that of all the sponsored children all but 2 are in the top half of their class grading….only a few have been sponsored to go to school for more than one year and it is so good to see all of the children doing well and trying hard. They really enjoy school and I am sure will enjoy it more if one of them comes first in their class grading….as a cake has been promised for any child who achieves this…


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Helping Hand Cambodia is now official


In just over one year from being established Helping Hand is now a registered charity; charity number 1171400 !!!! Thank you so much to all those who have helped, supported, prayed and made this work. This now opens so many more doors for us, primarily giving us access to funding which I will endeavour to source as we look to employ Chanthy (our Phnom Penh coordinator) full time.

Every child sponsored is a life changed and I have used #slumkidsaresmartkids a few times because it is true.We now have 20 children sponsored and in January’s class grading all but 4 came in the top half of their class (one came 2nd out of 38 !) and 2 of those had only been at school for 1 month. These are the future of Cambodia and, I believe, will be leaders in their chosen field. Because of their background they have a different attitude to other children.Help us to enable to give more children this opportunity by sharing our website Helping Hand .

We also support 10 families with rice every month from just £10 a month; again see the website for details. May this be just the beginning…..


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Edward visits the slums

At the moment my son Edward is travelling around Asia and is now spending time in Phnom Penh, Cambodia after spending quite a while in India. He took time out last Saturday to visit the slums in which Helping Hand is working and visited some of the children sponsored and their families.16215633_1012548798850475_1164822377_n He remembered some of them from when he lived in Phnom Penh 5 years ago…when he was not quite so tall…..16176044_1012548818850473_1113068236_n16215555_1012548855517136_339605928_n

He also met Mrs Peak Nary who was donated a new cart to collect rubbish in as all she had to use before was a pair of sack trucks.

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