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Children celebrated by Singapore Embassy

Anith Adilah Othman / Khmer Times Share:
From left: Ambassador’s spouse Madam Grace Tan, CCF Founder Scott Neeson and Singapore Ambassador H.E. Michael Tan. GT2/Srey Kumneth

It was a fun-filled day for some 100 children from the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) as they were treated to interactive games and other exciting activities recently at the WB Arena.

The event, part of the Singapore Embassy’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, saw the attendance of Ambassador H.E. Michael Tan, CCF Founder Scott Neeson and other sponsors including Monument Books & Toys Cambodia, represented by Purchasing Manager William Bagley.

Upon arrival, the students, aged between 13-18, were divided into four groups and paired with one guide each as they took turns visiting the four main stations at the venue.

At the first station, the kids learned about the symbolism contained in all the murals at WB Arena as they were greeted by the renowned artists Fonki (from Cambodia) and Singapore’s Yip Yew Chong. They then had a chance to leave their own artistic marks on a special mural painted by the two artists.

The second station was manned by the Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy which organised the egg drop challenge, while the third station is where the students were advised on hygiene awareness by the Singapore Medical Center Cambodia.

Lastly, the organising committee also challenged the kids to a game of “Passing the Message” at the fourth station, where their communication skills were tested in a fun, relaxed setting.

This event was a major part of the Street Art Festival++, a unique celebration of diplomatic ties between Singapore and Cambodia currently taking place until Feb 29, where CCF has been selected as the main beneficiary.

While the activities were underway, Monument Books and Toys Cambodia took the opportunity to hand over $3,000 worth of books previously handpicked by CCF.

H.E. Michael Tan explains the details hidden in a mural by Singaporean artist Yip Yew Chong to students from CCF. GT2/Srey Kumneth

Ambassador H.E. Tan also presented the Embassy’s donations in the form of school supplies, dictionaries and teddy bears to Mr Neeson, on behalf of the children.

“We appreciate all contributions and we applaud Singapore’s efforts in trying to make Cambodia  the regional hub for arts. I’d love for this to continue for 10-15 more years,” Mr Neeson told Good Times2.

Meanwhile, Ambassador H.E. Tan said the event gave him a first-hand opportunity to look at the tight relationship that Mr Neeson has formed with the children he has taken under his wing.

“The relationship is amazing. You can sense the familiarity between the kids and Neeson from the excitement they showed when they saw him.” he said. “Everyone’s thrilled to say ‘hi’ to him and they all wanted his attention. This confirms that Neeson has done a tremendous job with the CCF and that the Embassy has chosen the perfect beneficiary for this event,” he added.

CCF is founded by former Hollywood man Scott Neeson, whose view on life changed completely in 2004, when he found himself looking out across the Steung Meanchey dumpsite at hundreds of children scavenging through garbage.

What started as a care programme for only 45 children from the dumpsite has become a fully fledged centre providing the right education and support to over 2,000 students today.

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