Monthly Archives: July 2013

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The Sophia Saly School Building Project

Category : Uncategorized

Over the last few months you may have seen flashes and glimpses of our next project. But nothing really to hold on to. Scouting for our next location became a beach hunt that turned out to be so indescribably, inspiringly incredible that it truly was too good to be true. Too good, in fact, that we couldn’t reveal any details until we were sure that things were confirmed. Well, the long wait is over. It’s confirmed.

Interested volunteers pour your eyes over this, and if you think you’ve got what it takes to contribute positively to this project then read to the end. Because the answer you are looking for will be waiting for you there.

Operation: Sophia Saly Beach School

Mission: To build a school on a beach

When: The project will commence January 3rd 2014. We have decided to push it back after Christmas because airfares are a lot cheaper then and gives us a bit more time to fundraise.

Duration: Building a school can take up to 2mths. Volunteers may join our project anywhere between 2wks and more. We recommend 4weeks at least.

Fact File

Village name: It’s a secret. It’s Cambodia’s secret beach and we want to keep it that way. Volunteers joining us, count yourselves lucky 😉

Location: Kep province, Cambodia.

Student population: 180, with quite a bit more wanting to enter kinder next year. The school services 2-3 surrounding villages.

Teachers: 9

Toilets: Broken, disused.

Water well: Broken, disused.

Construction: We will build an additional school building, repair the existing building, build new toilets and a new water well.

Estimated project cost: $70,000

Notes: The school is near the coast and is surrounded by salt farms. Fresh water is scarce and expensive. Currently rainwater is captured in tanks, but frequently runs out during the dry season. Most of the villagers are fisherfolk, or work on the salt farms. Villagers expressed a strong interest to study English. They are very nice and love to cut down coconuts and share with us.

Brief history and surrounding area (as written in some traveling websites):

The beach is located 45min to the east of the Vietnamese border (7km away). It was once the swimming beach for the Cambodian Elite in the 1960s. The trip there might be long, but it is worth every minute. The beach, around 2km long, is clean with white sand and totally deserted except for some fishermen. Now there are 6 deck chairs and parasols and a small shop selling cold drinks for the few tourists going there. The water is shallow but clean.

Nearby island is a 20 minute boat trip from the secret beach (around US$8-10 return if part of a tour; alternatively, get a boat from the pier before 09:00 and share a $20 boat ride with others). Bungalows on the island are quaint and cheap (from US$5 a night). The island is generally pretty quiet and is a gem of coastal Cambodia. Development is slow, though there is now a massage shack directly on the beach.

Interested volunteers:

1)   MUST email info@babytreeprojects.org to express you interest.

2)   MUST include ‘SOPHIA SALY’ in the subject line.

3)   A very brief description of why you would like to participate.

4)   Include any background experience you think is relevant.

5)   Feel free to include any questions you may have too 😉

6)   MUST include a contact phone number.

7)   If you have already emailed us your interested we will be in touch soon. But just in case we have misplaced your file please email again if you don’t hear from us within a week.

After receiving your email we will be in touch and advise you of a volunteer information night in Melbourne. If you live elsewhere in the world we will email you the full details or we may call. Please note that we are completely volunteer based and even-though we don’t charge a fee for volunteers to join us we do require our volunteers to fundraise a minimum of $2,000 USD. 100% of which will go towards the school project.

To view these details in pictures you might want to go here.

To download the Sophia Saly Project Volunteer info kit click BTP-VolunteerInfoKit-SophiaSalySchool-2014.