Monday, August 7, 2006

Making a difference - SCC in Cambodia

Yesterday I attended an informal gathering in London with the supporters and volunteers of the British-run charity, Schools for Children of Cambodia (SCC). This is a fledgling charity working to reverse the pattern of poverty in Cambodia through education. They literally fund free education programs by adopting existing schools and arrange for the teachers to be sponsored so that they don't need to charge the pupil's attendance fees, thus making education free. SCC also assist the more academically able children to attend fee-paying government secondary schools. They support five schools in the Siem Reap area and currently help 2,000 children, between the ages of 4-12 years old, attend school. In anyone's book that's a fantastic achievement for a charity formed by friends just three years ago. And with a bit of luck, and the support of actress Cathy Shipton, they may be able to do a lot more.

Cathy, better-known to the tv viewing public as Nurse Duffy, filmed an anniversary episode of the popular BBC tv series Casualty in Cambodia recently - due to be screened on 23/24 September - and also spent an afternoon at SCC's Lolei school, some fifteen kilometres from Siem Reap, during her month-long stay in-country. "It was a wonderful, joyful occasion, I'll never forget it," was how Cathy (pictured) recalled her visit to yesterday's gathering. During her visit to Lolei school, she also took time out to film a piece for submission to the BBC's Lifeline Appeal and if its accepted by the broadcaster, it could really put SCC on the charity map. In the meantime, Georgina, Melissa, Glenn, Mark, Rachel and their supporters will continue their fund-raising efforts to give the children of Cambodia a free education. If you'd like to know more or can offer some support to SCC, go to their website at www.sccambodia.org.

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