As you will know by now we are starting Gap and Team trips into Cambodia and are in the process of establishing the camp and projects etc. We are linking up with a great little local organisation called Harmony Farm who take care of 20+ orphans on a full time basis as well as feed and educate a whole load more. Our camp will actually back onto their property and we are giving them a large chunk of the land to use for food generation as well as in the future reforestation. I hope we can assist with projects with them, give opportunities for additional income generation and perhaps project fund raising, as well providing basic english and cultural interaction for the orphans themselves. Anyway they produce a small newsletter periodically which I have copied in below to give you a feel for what they do and who they are – apologies no pictures, couldnt work the technology on that from a newsletter – if you want a copy drop me a line or send them an email direct – harmonyfarmcambodia@gmail.com – enjoy… Hi everyone! The last three months have been a very productive time for us at Harmony Farm. While the kids are winding up the last of the school year, studying hard, the rice is growing and we prepare the ultimate reward, a beautiful new home!Please enjoy the latest newsletter and thank you to everyone for your continuing support. Land for food. Dreams are becoming reality for us at Harmony Farm. We received donations to allow us to buy 7 hectares of land for us to grow food. We have direct seeded 5 hectares of rice by hand which we predict to feed all our 35+ members for 1 year minimum and provide employment for 2 full time workers. There was a lot of work to do on the land for preparation and we were employing an average of 13 workers a day. On Sundays the kids and staff would come out to helpåÊtoo. Some of the kids really enjoy planting rice, others prefer just to play or go hunting for bush treats to munch on. We have also planted corn and have plans to grow a diverse selection of vegetables after harvest in Dec. With much of the hard work done, now we can enjoy the rain and watch our food grow! Bees Unlimited In June Harmony Farm were host to BeesåÊUnlimited as part of a government trial for training sustainable bee keeping and honey harvesting. We had around 18 people attend the training session and in the afternoon, the bee crew visited our school to speak to the children about ecology and the importance of bees. Talking so much about delicious honey has since inspired Han and some of the older boys to make their own bee boxes and give it a go. We are very keen to get Bees Unlimited back out for a full training course which would result in a sustainable level of honey production for our kids and other local participants and possibly income generation and future training demonstrations. For anyone interested to sponsor this, please contact us for the full project proposal and quotes. Bicycle Program With sponsorship from Anza Cycling in Singapore as well as Volunteer bicycles we have managed to supply another 30 local children with bicycles. For many children in Cambodia, a bicycle can be the difference in attending school or not. Children from Beng Mealea Commune must travel an average of 16km each day to attend middle school. Harmony Farm crew arranged an assembly to present the kids with their bikes. All the children‰Ûªs families attended t as well as Denise from Anza cycling who played a key role in fundraising. The bikes mean so much to the kids and it was such a pleasure to see them all ride away on their new bikes. Home Sweet Home Our house is nearing completion and everyone is looking forward to moving in. What a big difference to where the kids are living now! We had to change to bricks for the lower storey due to the builder‰Ûªs advice on safety and lack of experience and skills in earth building although it is still something that interests us greatly. Bio Char Field Trials Harmony Farm is taking part in field trials for a research project of the use and effects of Biochar in Cambodian agriculture. The project funded through the Asia Pacific Network (APN) includes partners from four countries, and it is led by the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI) in India. Other partners are International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), SME Cambodia and the University of Edinburgh. This original research will look at the agronomic benefits which the addition of biochar can have to agricultural systems in South Asia. Biochar’s carbon storage properties also make this project useful to address the issue of CO2 for the Asia Pacific region, and will also provideåÊsustainability and social benefits. Living Values Training Living Values Education is an international education program designed to alleviate violence and social problem through positive, values based learning. In May, one of our teachers and two volunteers attended a course hosted by Peace CafÌ© in Siem Reap. The aim of the course is to train teachers how to help student explore and develop positive values and provide a safe and caring school environment. For more info see www.livingvalues.net . Dental Care After our initial dentist visit we received donations to help continue the program and do some follow up surgeries in Dom Dek. One young man in particular is beside himself with joy with his new front teeth. Coming from a very poor family, both his front teeth had rotted to the roots and he never thought he would have the opportunity to have them fixed. It‰Ûªs a pleasure to see his great big smile as he shows of his new teeth. Through education and supply of toothbrushes and tooth paste to our students (and stories of dentist drills!) we hope to improve dental health and hygiene for children in Beng Mealea Commune. Mongolian School Group Harmony Farm was host to a visiting School group from Mongolia. After a look around the school and an introduction to the children, we all went to the farm to plant cassava. Coming from the cold mountains of Mongolia the heat fairly took its toll but all the kids gave it their all and did a great job. Afterwards we all had lunch together at the centre teaching each other words from each language and a little rest before they headed back to Siem Reap. Institute for Opportunity Volunteer groups from the Korean and Japanese Institute for opportunity Visited Harmony Farm for a day of volunteering. With such a big group we broke into a roadworks team and a mud wall team, working on the wattle and daub wall of the staff hut. Both crews were enthusiastic and enjoyed getting their hands dirty. The work was followed by a shared meal with all the children. We were treated to kim chee and seaweed snacks which were new for our kids. Institute for opportunity has helped fundraise for the construction of our house. Thank you to everyone involved. Permaculture Courses @ Harmony Farm Our Permaculture teacher Rico Zook will be returning for his annual migration to Cambodia. Harmony Farm will be host to another 3 permaculture courses from Dec-Jan. We plan a 5 day introduction to permaculture from the 6th to the 10th with 16 places available. The cost is $55 for Khmer, $100 for foreigner including accommodation. In January we‰Ûªll have a three day advanced course for those who‰Ûªve had previous training. The cost for Khmer is $30, Foreigner – $50 including accommodation. We are looking for sponsors for some locals and Harmony Farm crew to attend both courses. The third course is a kids PC camp. We have 6-8 placesåÊavailable for visitors interested in an integrated permaculture learning experience. Learn about permaculture with our kids and help with projects on the farm as well as arts and activities. The cost is $120 per person including accommodation for 5 days. For more info or to register please contact Marli… harmonyfarmcambodia@gmail.com Welcome We‰Ûªd like to welcome Ken Thompson to the Harmony Farm Crew. Ken has moved to Siem Reap from Australia and is now our new treasurer. Ken is also a member of our Board of Directors. Thank you Ken for volunteering your time and giving so much to the development of Harmony Farm. Seaside Adventure Two of our children were rewarded for all their hard work and dedication to study with an adventure to Phnom Penh and then to the sea side. The opportunity arose with a visit by a child sponsor and an invitation for their child, a friend and staff member to join them on their tour of Cambodia. The boys had a wonderful time, trying out lots of new food and seeing the sights of their nation‰Ûªs capital. It was such a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved and much appreciated. The trip was topped of by a gift of photos which are poured over by the other children and treasured by the boys. Thank you Julie and Ivan for your generosity. Busy Builders It‰Ûªs all go at Harmony Farm. We have built a compost toilet, nursery and chook yards. Thank you so much to all who supported these projects. Camps International. Harmony Farm would like to announce their partnership with Camps International, a volunteer company from the UK. Camps international cater to volunteer school groups focusing on sustainable development and environmental care and education. They will be building a camp next door to Harmony Farm and work with us on projects in and around our community. We look forward to working together and giving our children the opportunity to hang out with children from other countries as well as teaching foreign children about life and reality in rural Cambodia. Good luck to Vannak and Srey Pouv Our director and his wife are expecting a baby in mid August. We would all like to wish them both the best of luck and welcome the new little member of our very big family. Thank you all. With your help may we continue our fight against poverty and provide a bright future for our kids.