Clean stoves forum hoping to help fire global change

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 | comments

Three million people a year die from exposure to cooking stove smoke, with an estimated 12,000 in Cambodia.

More than 500 people from all over the globe have gathered in Phnom Penh this week aiming to establish a global market for clean stoves, more than two million of which are now used in Cambodia. 

The “Clean Cooking Forum 2013: Igniting Change, Fuelling Markets and Sparking Adoption”, held at the Phnom Penh Hotel, is intended as a venue for delegates from across the globe to share research and ideas about how to improve cooking in the developing world. 

The week-long conference is hosted by GERES Cambodia – a French NGO that has implemented sustainable energy programs in Cambodia for nearly two decades and runs the biggest clean cooking stove program in the world.

Their success is part of the reason why the biennial forum, organised by the UN-led Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and backed by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is taking place in Phnom Penh this year.
source from: The Phnom Penh Post

Scores of swimmers splash out to conquer the Mekong

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An 11-year old Cambodian girl and a married couple were among more than a hundred people who braved the muddied waters of the Mekong yesterday to take part in a mass swim. Mekong River Swim, now in its 17th year, attracted 112 keen swimmers from more than 20 different countries. 

More Cambodians than ever made the crossing, which was organised by iCan British International School, at Prek Leap agricultural college six kilometres north of the city. Xavier Riblet, a 47-yearold electrical engineer from France, crossed the finishing line after seven minutes 29 seconds, winning the annual 800-metre race. He has won the race multiple times, finishing in seven minutes five seconds last year – a personal best. 

The Frenchman, who swims four kilometres a day, said the strong current and wind made for a difficult crossing yesterday. The other participants, kitted out in bathing suits, T-shirts and shorts, ranged from 11 to 61 years old. The average finishing time was 17 minutes, which organisers said is only an estimate. The length is 650 metres at its shortest, but swimmers were pushed from side to side so they could end up in a longer stretch.

source from: The Phnom Penh Post

Tech addicts to retreat to Koh Kong

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Do you get phantom phone vibrations in your pocket? Ever check Facebook while watching a movie or drinking at a bar? Does going without internet for extended periods make you anxious? If so, you could be an internet addict.

 “The idea that a person can’t go without internet for half a day without getting anxiety – that is a symptom of addiction,” says Levi Felix, a California native who founded the company Digital Detox, which specialises in tech-free holidays and is soon to arrive in the Kingdom. 

A few spots remain on Digital Detox’s retreat at Nomads Land ecotourist guesthouse on Koh Totang island, off the coast of Koh Kong. For six days, 12 participants will surrender their phones, laptops and even their clocks with the aim of “re-formatting” their minds.

source from: The Phnom Penh Post

Bus scare brings lesson in a spirit of generosity

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Khmer New Year falls around mid-April, and every year the people who live in Phnom Penh leave the city to their home provinces or get out of town to celebrate the three-day holiday. This year my girlfriends and I decided to take a trip to Siem Reap, the province where the Angkor Temples are located, about 315 kilometres from Phnom Penh. 

We chose to go on the Giant Ibis Transport, an affordable luxury bus in Cambodia, catering to passengers since 2012. With destinations to Siem Reap and Kampot, the Giant Ibis Bus has deluxe leather seats, air conditioner, complimentary snacks and water, and exceptional customer service. A round trip ticket from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is only $26. 

Traffic was horrific getting out of Phnom Penh the day before Khmer New Year, and our bus driver, Sitha, was very patient. National Road 4, which is a one lane road, turned into a three-lane road, as cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuks tried to cut in front of each other. The Giant Ibis Bus had no control of the other vehicles cutting in front of it. Then a pickup truck, filled up with over a dozen people, and stacked with four motorcycles, sideswiped the bus, as it cut in front of us.

source from: The Phnom Penh Post

Norodom Sihanouk

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Norodom Sihanouk, the former King of Cambodia, who has died aged 89, was only intermittently a monarch; for more than half a century, though, he played a leading part in the tragic post-war history of his country.

Sihanouk with French generals in Paris in 1946 Photo: REX As king from 1941 to 1955 he outwitted the French government to win independence for Cambodia, before abdicating to gain political power. As ruler between 1955 and 1970 he strove to make Cambodia “a haven of peace” amid the fury of the Vietnam War.

Subsequently, as an exile, he conspired with Chinese communists to liberate Cambodia from “the imperialist clique” which had replaced him. He must therefore bear some responsibility for the murderous domination of the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1978. 

Even so, during the 1980s, when a Vietnamese government ruled Cambodia, Sihanouk remained the sole figure capable of uniting the opposition. In 1991 he finally returned to Phnom Penh as chairman of the Supreme National Council. Two years later, after an election under United Nations auspices, the National Assembly restored him as monarch, albeit one who would “reign not rule”. 

Sihanouk’s character was as unpredictable as his fortunes, for he combined the characteristics of an educated Frenchman and an Oriental despot. His generosity and good humour were genuine, and enabled him to pose with some conviction as the father of his people. On the other hand he was capable of ruthlessness and a disregard for the processes of law, as in the execution of political opponents.

source from:

Dental Care - Cleaning Teeth

Monday, 29 April 2013 | comments (9)

All this healthy food we give the kids is of little use unless they have good teeth to help eat it. So, in April 2011, we proudly opened the doors of the Cambodian Children's Fund Dental Clinic. Started in consultation with Phnom Penh's International University, the clinic is just around the corner from CCF's Community Centre in the heart of Steung Meanchey. All our dental equipment has been provided by DentAid. 

 We teach all our children basic oral hygiene and show them how to use a toothbrush. We also keep a supply of toothbrushes and toothpaste at the Day Care Centre for anyone who needs them. We have instructional posters on the walls of all our centres so reminders are never far away. 

 We want to create an oral health clinic for dental education and basic dental treatment, including examinations, radiographs, cleaning, fillings and extractions. Once we're more established we'd like to take on further treatments such as root canal treatment, crowns and perhaps minor orthodontic and denture treatment. Before the clinic was opened, people had to rely on practitioners operating out of roadside shacks or, for many, they just lived with dreadful pain. Now, they can come to our clinic confident that we use the most hygienic methods and that all our equipment is sterilised and safe. 

 Currently, children have scheduled appointments with the dentist every three months. For children who need emergency or immediate treatment, CCF refers and takes them to a dental hospital or private dental clinic. The CCF Dental Clinic employs one full-time dentist and a full-time dental nurse, with overseas and local volunteer dentists and dental therapists complementing these full-time roles.

source from: Cambodian Children's Fun

Little ones from three to six years of age can join our preschool program

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Little ones from three to six years of age can join our preschool program. Here they get the best start to their academic journey, becoming familiar with a school campus before entering formal education in public school. They play in a safe, caring environment while learning Khmer, English, art, traditional songs, hygiene, manners and respect for others. 

 Young minds need good nutrition to grow and function properly, so at preschool we make sure our kids eat a healthy meal every day, with fresh fruit and safe drinking water. We have a nursery on site where the children's health is monitored every day. Our structured play activities are designed to increase motor skills and coordination while being great fun.

source from: Cambodia Children's Fun
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