Newsletter spacer Winter 2012    
  Message from the Directors
Bill and Nancy
Hi Everyone,
For the last six years, the Cambodian Village Fund has worked in Kaun Khlong, a rural village in Cambodia. With the help of our friends and family, we’ve been able to accomplish a lot – a 5-classroom school, bikes for kids to ride to school, school uniforms for 720 students, playground equipment, a microloan program, and a scholarship fund that helps girls continue their education.
The number 40 got us involved in this amazing “changing lives” business. In 2006, just a few months before our 40th wedding anniversary, Nancy got her hair cut by Chanra, who moved to San Diego from Cambodia in the 1980s. Chanra had just returned from Camdodia, where she purchased a $40 bicycle for the village to share – to go to school, the clinic, the temple, and the market. The idea of “$40 dollars, 40 years of marriage” clicked with us and the Cambodian Village Fund was born.
Our biggest project to date is a new school building, which coincidently cost $40,000.
Last January Karla Peterson, columnist for the UT San Diego newspaper, wrote an article about our village. We were very honored by her words. (To read her article, click here).
The number 40 still carries magic. Cameron Siskowic, who grew up in San Diego, read the UT San Diego article and contacted us. He wore the number 40 football jersey while at Illinois State, before going to play in the NFL. He is passionate about helping the people in Cambodia. Cameron will be heading our fundraising efforts to make an even bigger difference in changing lives on the other side of the world.
Cameron Siskowic
Cameron Siskowic--#40
Word is spreading. A new website, Cause Ignitor, selected us as the Cause of the Month for March. Cause Ignitor offers a tee shirt they designed. For every shirt sold, the village gets $8. Please check out the tee shirts on their websites.
There are so many wonderful people that have done so much to make the Cambodian Village Fund a success. There’s Sovechea who makes miracles happen in the most gentle, powerful way. Then there’s our Cambodian family in San Diego, friends in the village, and people who have taken on an active role. Niels Lund, who heads Microloans for Mothers, set up the microloan program. Ginger Allen administers Reach for the Sky. Just recently, Ginger’s longtime friend, Denise McMahon, has been responsible for a few miracles herself. (See article on the right.)
Sovechea and Bill
Sovechea and Bill
Just a few months ago we took a group of 25 friends and supporters to dedicate a new school in the village. Great Angkor Tours did a great job making the arrangements and finding Heng, a terrific guide to lead us. (Read all about it in the Newsletter.)
Our friends who have visited Kaun Khlong marvel at how much has been accomplished in just over five years and with less than $60,000. Plans for next year are to:
•Expand our Reach for the Sky program so more children will have a chance at a decent future;
•Construct a second school building with 4 classrooms, a library and a bathroom;
•Rebuild the road to the school so the students won’t have to walk in knee-deep water during the rainy season.
New road needed
A New Road for Next Year
We work hard to make every dollar count and with your help, we can do even more.
All contributions go to help the children of Cambodia. All administration is done by us and our volunteers at no cost to the fund. This includes accounting, website design and maintenance, and fundraising. The Cambodian Village Fund has no paid staff.
We’re very proud that our administrative costs have been less than 1% of revenues. Most of the administrative costs are costs charged by banks related to receiving transferring money. All contributions are tax deductible.
Sovechea gave each one of our tour group a book of poetry entitled “The Buddha of the Battlefield.” It was written by the monk, Maha Ghosananda, known as the Gandhi of Cambodia. His words confirm why we need to help Cambodia.
Katy and Zion
Maha Ghosananda

The suffering of Cambodia has been deep.

From this suffering comes Great Compassion.

Great Compassion makes a Peaceful Heart.

A Peaceful Heart makes a Peaceful Person.

A Peaceful Person makes a Peaceful Family.

A Peaceful Family makes a Peaceful Community.

A Peaceful Community makes a Peaceful Nation.

A Peaceful Nation makes a Peaceful World.

May all beings live in Happiness and Peace.

We came away from our trip to Cambodia with a clearer mission. It just takes a little to start the movement toward a world of happiness and peace. . .and you’ve been part of this all along the way. Thank you for your support, for your contributions and for spreading the word. We are forever grateful to be a part of such a positive effort.
Bill and Nancy Bamberger

Won’t you lend us a hand?

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

Or send a check payable to:

Cambodian Village Fund
c/o Bill and Nancy Bamberger 4376 Argos Dr.
San Diego, CA 92116-2330
Our Trip to Cambodia
In January we traveled to Cambodia with a group of 25 friends and family. It was great having our 10-year-old granddaughter, Zion, and her parents, Brian and Amy, along with us. We wanted our group to experience Cambodia’s rare beauty and rich history and to be a part of the dedication of our new school in Kaun Khlong. (See next story).
Amy, Zion and Brian
We spent the first three days of the trip in Siem Reap exploring Angkor Wat and the other ancient sights nearby. From Siem Reap, we boarded a boat to Battambang. We had a full day on the boat stopping at a bird sanctuary and watching people go about their daily life on the river. That evening, we arrived in the city of Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia and the Provincial Capital, and only an hour’s drive to Kaun Khlong.
Group Photo
Official Group Photo
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
We spent our time in Battambang exploring the sights, riding the Bamboo train, attending a circus run by a French NGO and going to a cooking school. But the highlight of our journey was going to the village of Kaun Khlong to dedicate the school and celebrate with the villagers.
The last leg of the trip was Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where we visited the royal palace and other national treasures. We went to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields, both reminding us of the genocide of the Cambodian people under Pol Pot’s reign of terror.
Cambodia touched our hearts and minds. The trip was such a success that we hope to take another group next year to visit the village and see firsthand the difference we are making and the gratitude of the people we are helping.
Click here to read an article in the San Diego County News about one of the travelers who joined us in Camboida. Click here to see a 22-minute video of our trip.
School Dedication
One of the most memorable days of our lives was the dedication of the new Kaun Khlong Primary School.
Our group of 27 arrived at the school at 7:30 in the morning and were met by hundreds of cheering children, teachers, school officials, and parents. Each person in our group was given flowers and then escorted to our seats behind the speakers’ stand.
Bill and Nancy
Memorable Walk from the Bus
Provincial Governor
Govenor Greeted with Leis
We faced an audience of over 500. Beyond the joyful faces, we saw the new school building for the first time and it was beautiful. The sign, “Man Seourn’s Dream” was placed high over the main entrance. We named the school for our friend in San Diego, Man Seourn, because she inspired us to work for the children in Cambodia.
Students in Front of New School
The ceremony began with monks chanting a Dhamma blessing. Our short talk was followed by the keynote speaker, the Governor of Battambang Province. He spoke of the importance of education to Cambodia, especially because most of the educated people in the country had been killed by the Khmer Rouge. We cut the ribbon with help from Chea (Man Seourn’s daughter), the Governor and our granddaughter, Zion. We signed the official school registry and toured the school.
 Dhamma Blessing
Dhamma Blessing
Provincial Govenor
Governor Gives Speach
Certification of Appreciation
Certificate of Appreciation
Zion Cuts Ribbon
Zion Cuts the Ribbon
Group in Front of School
Our Group
Nancy, Chea, Sovechea, Bill and Mau
Nancy, Chea, Sovechea, Bill and Mau
After the dedication ceremony we all went to Vanna’s house for a wonderful lunch. Vanna, an administrator at the school, has lived in the village all his life. He managed the school construction project and helps with our Reach for the Sky program. At Vanna’s, we were introduced to nine of our Reach for the Sky girls, who helped prepare and serve our lunch. (See next story.)
Mike and Kathy
Kathy and Mike Share a Drink
Vanna with His Helpers
We said our good-byes and boarded the bus, each of us forever changed by the warm hospitality and friendship of the Cambodian people. Our good friend, Sovechea, and many others in the community and in our Cambodian family in San Diego, worked very hard to organize such a grand event, one that we will never forget.
Click here to watch a short (6 1/2 minute) video that focuses on our 2 days in the village of Kaun Khlong and Battambang.
Reach for the Sky – Giving Girls A Chance
After the school dedication ceremony, we met nine of our Reach for the Sky girls, who receive scholarships from CVF to stay in school. They are wonderful young woman and appreciate the chance at a better life. We also walked to Sokhom’s house to meet her mother and brother. Sokhom was our first Reach for the Sky girl. We asked if she has enough to eat. She said that sometimes she goes to school hungry. We took up a collection and almost instantly raised $100, enough for 3 bags of rice.
Reach for the Sky Girls
Sharilyn, Jan, and Vanna with RFTS Girls
Sovechea and Sokum
Soivechea Indroduces Sokhom and Her Family
RFTS girl with bike
Sreysith with Her New Bike
Vickie and Sokum
Vickie and Sokhom
The girls are working hard and setting an example for the other girls in the village. Ginger Allen administers the expanding program with the goal of sending as many of the Reach for the Sky girls to college as possible. Reach for the Sky is changing the role and perception of girls in our village one step at a time. Vanna and Sovechea told us that all the girls in the Kaun Khlong Primary School are working harder, hoping to become a Reach for the Sky girl. If you are interested in sponsoring a girl, go to our website.
Denise’s Vision for Seavmey is Realized
Ginger Allen and Denise McMahon traveled to Kaun Khlong last November. With matching funds from Denise’s company, VMWare, Ginger and Denise transformed the village kindergarten. They purchased forty small, colorful tables, learning tools, coloring books, toys, a clean water dispenser, and most importantly—electricity for the school. Essence of Joy
Ginger and Denise at the Village
Essence of Joy
Denise's Photo of Seavmey
Denise snapped a picture of a little six-year-old girl, Seavmey, whose eye was damaged at birth. When she returned to the States, Denise emailed eye doctors and researched organizations helping the vision impaired. The response was amazing. Denise was struck by the power of one photograph to move so many people to aid a total stranger—a world away. Denise arranged for an appointment with an eye doctor to fit Seavmey with a prosthetic eye.
On the day after the school dedication, we went with Sovechea in a tuk tuk to meet Seavmey and her mother at the hospital. Little Seavmey was scared, but bravely went in to meet Dr. KC. who fitted her with an artificial eye. In a blink of an eye, Seavmey opened up her two beautiful brown eyes. We’ll never forget the joy that filled that clinic room and the hugs and the pictures. Bill, Nancy with Seavmey and Her MotherBill and Nancy with Seavmey
and Her Mother
Seavmey at Hospital
Later, we took Seavmey to pick out a new bike. With such confidence, she pointed to a new pink bike that would be hers. She and her mother were all smiles as they left for their trip back to the village.
Seavmey with her bike
If you ever think one person can’t make a difference, think about Denise and how she changed a little girl’s life forever.
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