Newsletter spacer Fall 2011    
  Message from the Directors
Bill and Nancy Bamberger
Bill and Nancy
Hi Everyone,

In September we celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. It’s nice to look back at 45 years of a very good life together. However, the last five years have been absolutely the best! It was on our 40th anniversary that the Cambodian Village Fund was born. Our heads are spinning with all that’s come about.

In 2006, just a few months before our 40th wedding anniversary, Nancy had a hair appointment with Chanra. (In the 70’s, Chanra was just a child when she fled Cambodia with some of her family to escape Pol Pot’s reign of terror.) That day in the salon, Chanra told Nancy about a recent trip she took to Cambodia to visit the village where her sister still lives. While she was there, she bought a forty-dollar bike for the village to share – to ride to the clinic, the temple, the market and the school.

Chanra and Nancy
Chanra and Nancy

Those who know us know we’re avid bikers and travelers. We had traveled to Cambodia and were impressed by the country and its wonderful hardworking people. Something clicked for us on that day in 2006 with Chanra’s story. The words, “$40 dollars, 40 years of marriage and a bicycle” spoke to us so, for our 40th wedding anniversary, we decided to buy another bike for the village. When our friends heard about it, they also wanted to contribute. We collected over $2,500 -- enough for ten bikes and basic necessities for village.

With some money left over from the $2,500, some fundraising activities and more donations, we were able to buy new school uniforms for the 720 children in the village. One of our greatest joys was traveling to the village in 2008 and giving each student a new school uniform.

While we were at the village, the school headmaster showed us a plot of land they had designated for a new classroom building and asked if we could help fill the land and prepare it for the new school building. It wasn’t long until our generous supporters donated the $4,500 needed to prepare the land.

Now our big miracle is the completion of a new 5-room school building, being used by the children in the village.

New programs keep popping up. The Soroptimists International of La Jolla gave seed money to help a girl in the village continue her education beyond primary school. The program, “Reach for the Sky,” administered by Ginger Allen, now sponsors ten bright, hardworking girls. The Soroptimists International of La Jolla recently continued their support with an additional $500.

Niels Lund, the Executive Director of Class-ACT, launched a micro loan program for five mothers in the village to start their own businesses. Niels is traveling to the village to meet with the mothers.

You can see there’s plenty of good things happening in the village – and plenty of good things happening here at home as well.

CVF is becoming more and more of a “Family Affair.” We’ve published two poetry books in a year – both written by our friend Katy Guard. The first one was illustrated by our daughter Amy Dyson and the second was illustrated by our 10-year old granddaughter, Zion. The collaborative effort has been great fun for all of us.

Katy and Zion
Katy and Zion working on the book

Zion has also created the designs for the tote bags and tee shirts in our new Gift Shop. Zion’s parents, Amy and Brian Dyson, manage the store operations, fulfill the orders and do the leg work.

In January, we’re taking Amy, Brian, and Zion, along with a group of 25, to Cambodia to visit the village of Kaun Khlong and see the completed school. We’re flying to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat and many other ancient temples and ruins. Next we’ll take a charter boat across the Tonle Sap Lake and down the Stung Sangker River to Battambang. We’ll spend a day in the village to dedicate the school and meet with the children, teachers and parents. We then drive to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia where we’ll spend three days seeing the sights, going to a cooking class and learning the history of the Khmer culture. Since the 13-day trip was a sellout, we’re planning another trip in January 2013. If you’re interested in traveling with us to Cambodia, send us an email at billandnancy

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

You can see why the last 5 years of our 45 years together have been phenomenal. It is an honor and a joy to be part of an effort that truly changes lives. We are in awe of the generous, caring people we have met along the way. To think, a little chitchat at the hair saloon put a lot of amazing things in motion and blessed a retired couple with a most wonderful life.

Bill and Nancy Bamberger

We appreciate your financial support.

Please go to our website--
and click "Donations."

Or you can send a check payable to:

Cambodian Village Fund
c/o Bill and Nancy Bamberger
4376 Argos Dr.
San Diego, CA 92116-2330

All contributions are tax deductable.
The New Classroom Building Is Finished!
The students at Kaun Khlong Primary school were excited to see a brand new classroom building when they returned to school after summer break. The beautiful new building has 5 classrooms. Each classroom is outfitted with 20 desks (2 or 3 students will sit at each desk) and a teacher’s desk. The new building accommodates about 200 of the school’s 720 students.
Kaun Khlong Primary School

The building is named “Man Seourn’s Dream” in honor of our friend who inspired us to work for the future of the children in the village. We believe, along with Man Seourn, that education is the key to a better future.
Man Soeurn's Dream Man Soeurn Man Soeurn
We are very happy with the construction. The building was completed on time and on budget ($40,000). The cost of the building was low compared to other school buildings in Cambodia, but the quality is excellent. It was built by a local contractor using local labor, so we provided jobs for a number of people in the village.

This is the first of two classroom buildings we plan to build. We’ll start construction on the second building when we get the funds. The next building will have 4 classrooms and a library. We also plan to build a bathroom. The school does not have electricity yet, but electricity was recently brought to the village of Kaun Khlong. When we’re in Cambodia in January we’ll investigate the possibility of running electric power lines to the school. If that’s too expensive we’ll consider solar panels.

The classroom building is by far our largest project to date. It was made possible by contributions from over 200 people and a $25,000 interest free loan. A plaque on the front of the school acknowledges all who made the building a reality. The school will be dedicated in January during our visit to the village.

“Reach for the Sky” - Helping Ten Girls
Reach for the Sky
Left to Right - Sinat, Sokhom, Rosha, Sopat, Sokroeun, Vongdy, Sary, Sreysith, and Pisey. College student Chanthy not pictured.

We now have 10 girls in our “Reach for the Sky” program. “Reach for the Sky” provides financial aid for girls in middle school, high school and college.
Less than half of the girls in the Kuan Khlong Primary School continue on to middle school. With a little financial support, the girls can complete high school and even go to college. We start each girl with a new bicycle, school uniform, book bag, and school supplies. Sponsors then provide ongoing financial aid of $25 per month which includes daily English lessons.

SOVANN Chanthy
Our first college-age student is Chanthy who started at the University of Management in Phnom Penh in October where she studies banking. Although it’s more expensive to send a student to college (about $1,200 per year), we were encouraged to help Chanthy by Sovechea, a monk and good friend from Kaun Khlong. Sovechea said that by helping Chanthy study at the University, she will be an example to the other girls in the village.

When she completes her degree at the University, she will be able to get a good job and encourage other girls in the village to continue their education.

In addition, helping girls go to college will change the way parents think about their daughters, who typically have a lower priority than boys in Khmer society. Our goal is to send all of our “Reach for the Sky” girls to college, changing the role and perception of girls in rural Cambodia one step at a time.

Ginger Allen administers the “Reach for the Sky” program. If you are interested in sponsoring a girl, please contact Ginger at

2011 Fundraisers - Big Thanks to Chris, Drew and Arati
Chris and Drew
Chris Hassett and Drew Massicot
Fundraising is one of the most important things that we do. Singer-songwriter Chris Hassett and keyboard player Drew Massicot did a repeat of last year’s concert. This year’s concert, We Are the Village—Breaking Ground, was a huge success, with about 150 people attending.
In April our friend Arati Lane did a yoga workshop-fundraiser. About 25 people got a great hour-and-a-half workout.

This year many generous people have contributed to the fund. In total we’ve raised over $13,000 this year.

Arati Lane
Arati Lane
“The Essence of Joy”-- CVF Releases New Book
We’ve published our second book, “The Essence of Joy,” is a book of poetry written by Katy Guard. Our 10-year old granddaughter, Zion Dyson did the illustratons. With Katy’s inspirational words and Zion’s delightful drawings, the book is a real treasure. It’s available for purchase on our website for $15, and would make a nice holiday gift.

Proceeds from this book are split between the Cambodian Village Fund and the Kaivalya Mandiram Trust.

Essence of Joy
Microloans for Kaun Khlong

We’ve been working with another San Diego organization, Class-ACT, to start a microloan program in the village. The program, called "Microloans for Mothers," provides small loans to mothers of children in the Kaun Khlong Primary School, which they use to start small businesses. The program began with 5 mothers who each received a loan of $100. The mothers have some creative ideas for new businesses—one mother is selling groceries out of her house, another started a "battery charging" business, while others are selling sweets, desserts and ice cream. Below are pictures of some of the mothers with their families.

NOUN Keoun
selling ice cream
CHAY Chantrea
selling dessert
MOUL Neangbey
battery charging
Niels Lund, the Executive Director of Class-ACT, is going to Cambodia in November to meet with the mothers who received the loans.

We Have a New Gift Shop
Zion wearing her Positive People design
We’re pleased to announce the opening of the Cambodian Village Fund Gift Shop on our website. In addition to “The Essence of Joy” (discussed above), we offer tee shirts and tote bags with wonderful original designs by Zion, our 10-year old granddaughter.

Zion wants to help the children in the village and will be going to Cambodia in January to meet some of the kids.
With Christmas just around the corner, the Cambodian Village Fund Gift Shop can simplify shopping and provide your loved ones with wonderful presents. All profits go to the Cambodian Village Fund. To start shopping, go to our website ——and click “Gift Shop.” Positive People
Positive People
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