Locals support moo-vement

Locals support moo-vement

Adozen kind hearted locals recently travelled to a third world country to make a difference to the lives of underprivileged children in an attempt to break the generational cycle of poverty.

Cows for Kids directors David McKinnon, Amanda Day and Paul Chuck led the group’s visit to Cambodia to assist a local orphanage, fit out an abandoned school and renovate a house for a family in need on the Tonlé Sap river.

Cows for Kids is a Mount Gambier based not-for-profit charity formed in 2019 that raises funds to provide Cambodian children and families with food, education and clothing in a mission to end the poverty cycle in Cambodia.

Mr McKinnon said in a previous trip to the country in 2022, several members of the organisation discovered an abandoned school built by a former Japanese charity in Veal Village in the Cambodian city of Siem Riep.

“The year prior to this one we went overseas, Paul, my wife and myself and we found a school that was built by a Japanese charity that has gone by the wayside since in a poor village,” he said.

“In that 12 months, we have had it renovated, painted, found a teacher, got some students, I think there’s about 95 or something that are registered, we’re teaching English and Khmer there.

“We fund the school so basically what happens if the school is needing books or whatever, wages for the teacher, renovations, changes to the school, we raise money here and distribute it for the best outcome for the people that donate it and the people that receive it.”

Mr Chuck said the school was an important project because it gave children an opportunity to learn English, which they did not have previously.

“Our main focus is keeping the school open and educating these kids with English so that’s really the big drive,” he said.

“It gives them an opportunity for employment and everything, English is vital and a lot of them miss out and they just drop out of school at a very young age, some never attend.

“Most of these kids that are attending there, their parents would have never went to school.

“We have established a long-term commitment there with the school that will be ongoing and we hope to expand that further because there is another couple of classrooms there that we can go into at a later stage.

“We connected the school to water and we’re currently trying to get power on there so we’re chipping away even though we’re back here.”

The charity is looking to expand their services within the school such as offering classes for senior age students and computer classes.

Cows for Kids have donated a number of items to the orphanage including a fridge freezer, rice cookers, student packs, sporting packs, food and hundreds of pairs of shorts by local company Dagman Aussie Footy Shorts.

The charity held a fundraising dinner at the Mount Gambier Racing Club earlier in the year which was attended by around 170 people.

“That night was a really good successful night so that will go towards funding and keeping the school open until we raise more money,” Mr Chuck said.

“Every dollar that’s raised goes all to the foundation, when we go over we fund everything ourselves and we give more and the charity donates 100% so it’s a win-win for them.”

The aptly named charity raises funds through people agisting cattle on their property by raising and selling them, along with additional donations.

The Cows for Kids directors are looking to visit Cambodia again in July next year when they plan to continue assisting the school and orphanage and help another family whose house is at risk of flooding on the Tonlé Sap river.

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