The holiday season is here once again, a time when our thoughts turn to the happiness and well-being of loved ones, near and far. Here at AmaWaterways, we also think of our friends around the world, particularly the delightful young children who attend the ODA Free Village English School in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
AmaWaterways is the proud sponsor of this school, an educational facility operated in association with the Orphans and Disabled Arts Association (ODA). Our financial support helped pay for the land and the school’s construction, and we continue to provide funding for teachers' salaries, school supplies and other necessities.
As part of our annual gift to the school, we host a festive holiday event for the school’s students, their families, and residents of the local village. The children put on a lively and heartfelt performance and everyone enjoys a delicious holiday feast. (See photos at right, taken at last year’s event.) This year’s party will be held on Dec. 28th.
Surrounded by the famous temples of Angkor, the Siem Reap area is uniquely tied to the Khmer culture and relies primarily on tourism. The ODA School brings critical English-language skills to the local children, which will definitely be an advantage when it comes to future job opportunities. They love to learn and enjoy practicing their English with visitors from other countries!
All of us at AmaWaterways are very honored to be a part of this life-changing project. And many of our generous guests want to get involved, too! When people ask what they can bring from home to donate to the school, we suggest basic school supplies (pencils, pens, notebooks, wooden puzzles, picture books, etc.) and personal hygiene products (soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, etc.). Online donations are also welcome via Project Kids Art, a 501(c)(3) registered in the U.S. (visit www.orphansdisabledcambodia.org/donate). All online donations are distributed to four village schools in the Siem Reap area, including AmaWaterways’ ODA Free Village English School. Donations made by U.S. citizens are tax-deductible.
From our AmaWaterways family to yours, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a joyful and prosperous 2014!