Today, Cambodia is rebuilding and economic growth is back on track. However, its openness to the world cannot be built on solid foundations unless the country reclaims its identity and its artistic and cultural heritage, damaged by the civil war years.
Our goal is to allow children to acquire their cultural heritage and to flourish in artistic expression. Beyond the transmission of cultural traditions, art represents a real therapy for children, a chance to develop their own creativity and to build their self-awareness and confidence.
TRADITIONAL DANCE CLASSES
All year long, traditional dance classes are offered to our children and opened to the neighborhood children. Boys and girls train regularly to represent the association and the association at shows that take place during certain official events. The Apsara dance is fully integrated in the culture and in the Khmer tradition.
Very popular with the youngest children, art workshops are offered by the volunteers or our staff. Since the war, arts initiatives have taken place in the Khmer culture. These workshops allow the children from the association and from the Khla Kaun Thmei village to discover different art techniques and to express their creativity. The workshops are adapted to the yearly events: during festivities, children create masks, jewelry, decoration… which they can use during the occasion. We have organized exhibitions on different themes in several big cities in Cambodia to highlight the work of these young artists.
The children from the our association and from the Khla Kaun Thmei village have access to the Khmer, French and English books relating to many different themes. Reading has become a popular activity for children after the opening of this library in 2009, which has been moved since, and has also become a computer room as well. Twenty-three computers have been installed to allow our youngsters to learn about computers. Several times a year, volunteers organize computer classes. The rest of the time, the computers are free to be used although monitored by a person in charge of the children at the Foyer. Khmer texts and literature represent a large part of Khmer culture and tradition.
Once a week, movie sessions are offered at the association. The children discover on the big screen Khmer and international movie classics. Thus, they know the films made by the late king Sihanouk, as well as the Charlie Chaplin’s and the latest animated movies released internationally. The goal here is to open their minds to other cultures through cinema.
The first theater summer camp, in 2012, was a big success for our children. The association has then decided to renew the experience every year. Since then, different themed summer camps have been offered to the children each summer: circus, video, taekwondo, art class, ukulele… resulting in additional opportunity for children to discover new forms of artistic expression.