Today we launch BabyTree Projects’ Sophia Saly Walkathon 2013. Please join us in this walk dedicated to the life and memory of Sophia, a truly beautiful soul, who continues to inspire us to be better than we are. We miss that girl! It will be held on Sunday 24th November at Princess Park, Carlton North. Like last year, except this time all money raised will go towards the construction of the Sophia Saly School at a beach. Yes, we found a village with a secret beach in Kep Province, Cambodia that will allow this to happen! But, we need your help to make this dream come true. Get your friends and family involved, make it a special day…Please share, spread the word and give us wings…
Details and to register here: http://goo.gl/sOrV3y
To see our current leader board and donate to a walker click here: http://goo.gl/4w6F5a
Can’t make but want to donate? Click here: http://goo.gl/zxfqZR
#changetheworld #beachschool #giveuswings
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.
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.
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.
1) MUST email firstname.lastname@example.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.
Thank you for all your support so far!
To Register for the walkathon click here.
To view walkers leading the sponsorship tally click here.
We would like to thank our Walkathon Major Sponsors 2012. Incredible partners investing in the local community to drive change.
To download official poster click image below:
A proper tribute page will be made for our beloved Sophia shortly…
Beloved sister, daughter, partner and dear friend of many in the BabyTree Projects family, Sophia Saly, sadly lost her battle with cancer yesterday. Her family were with her when she slipped away in the early morning. Our thoughts and love go to the Saly family, her fiancée Silv and particularly her brother Koky Saly, BTP’s president, who has been by her side for much of the last few months.
Sophia has been an integral part of BabyTree Projects from its very beginning, and frankly it’s hard imagining it without her. In 2006 she joined two of her brothers, Koky and Toly, and other brave volunteers to build BabyTree Projects’ first school in Sophy Village. Building a school in the wet season is not an easy task. The stories we heard of the daily downpours, the ever present mud, fighting over the last potato, harrowing truck journeys and other such hardships were told in such a way to inspire us to volunteer for the next project (in the dry season).
In the months and years that followed she was instrumental in founding the charity in Victoria and shaping its values and approach. Sophia did not involve herself in the administration or management of the organisation, but threw herself into organising countless fundraising events (when we could pull her away from her duties at Carlton Football Club) and used her incredible ability to get the job done and done well. Seemingly effortlessly she drew many supporters and volunteers to BabyTree Projects. With her contagious laughter, energy, commitment and (for those unfamiliar with it) sometimes confronting sense of humour she helped build a charity that was honest, dynamic and one that found humour in the most surprising places.
Sophia had also planned to travel to Cambodia again for the Sambour Project earlier this year, but this was thwarted by her illness. Also her absence at BTP events, particularly over the last year, made them poorer for it.
Vale and farewell Sophia Saly, in our thoughts and forever in our hearts. We love you.
Earlier this month we received the sad news that an uncharacteristically powerful storm had hit two of BabyTree Projects communities. At first we thought that the damage could have serious set-backs for all our hard work over many years. We are relieved and glad to say that the damage, although extensive, is not beyond our resources to remedy and help. Our dedicated staff, Saren, went into our projects when safe to do so and was able to report quickly.
We have already approved actions to remedy some of the damage and sought assistance from fellow NGO’s where extra help is needed. For the full report please click this link Disaster Report .
BabyTree’s fundraiser is this Saturday! This is what will happen. If it excites you text/comment for our secret address 🙂
The traditional Khmer food on the night will be:
Organic Khmer Curry (YUMMY)
Rice and Bread (to accompany curry)
Rice noodle salad with mint leaves (refreshing)
A special BabyTree Khmer Dessert
Cupcakes (by Sally Suy!)
Soft drinks, Beer, Wine
All that for $30…seriously you spend more and get much less these days.
Special cocktails will be available at $2 a glass.
-Wine tasting (get your taste buds ready)
-Our presentaion 930pm (photos and video to show you that the school has been built)
-Lolly Jar guessing game
-Hoodies & Tshirts and other merchandise for sale
-Feel free to donate extra ($30 buys four desks and chairs!)
If you would like to pay before hand please transfer money to:
Account Number: 240337
Otherwise you can pay on the night. Your names are at the door.
If you are bring a plus one please let us know for catering purposes.
Dress to impress…no ties needed…imagine a first date…
Any problems finding the place please call Koky on 0426 270 634
It’ll be fun……