It has been a very very long time since I have updated this blog, and I apologize to those of you who have chastised me for not keeping it current.
We've added a Facebook page for the Museum/Relief Center and for CSHD, and been updating that rather than the blog. But many of you do not do Facebook, so I will attempt to keep this site updated on a more regular basis.
It has been a busy 4 months. We've nearly completed our Tinkle Fund projects.
The first toilet block was finished in April and the second is in construction now.
The school stairs - The Stairs from Angkow Wat were demolished by the kids and replaced with modern wide stairs that everone can use.
We added a roof to the school building. It has helped keep the sun out of the windows and we no longer have leaks from the flat roof.
We are bulding a parking structure for the vehicles we have at the Museum.
We want to start work on the playground that was delayed from earlier this year. We had a group coming to build it with us, but they had to cancel at the last minute and we haven't had the chance to plug that into the schedule.
Our solar system got hit by lightening and we got hit with a $2,000 repair bill we didn't expect, but thanks to Jackie Russell - our Angel from Hong Kong - it's all taken care of. Jackie is moving back to London this month, and we hope to be able to visit her to do a fundraiser in sunny auld England.
We now have 34 children living at the Relief Center. We plan on having 50 by the end of the year - assuming we continue to raise funds as we have in the past year.
The Museum is fast approaching financial sustainability. We currently raise enough money to cover monthly costs. Funds are raised from ticket sales, donations made at the Museum, and sales from our small shop. While tourist numbers are down substaintially since the GFC (global financial crisis) hit in 2008, they appear to be coming back. Since September, our numbers have increased over the same months a year before. That is the first time that has happened since we moved to the new location in 2007.
Our building program has been funded by donations "extra regulum" (outside the norm). We have not had to dip into operational funding for any of our building projects. And that is thanks to you!!
We have positions for 3 volunteers: 2 teach English, one to the beginning students and the other with the advanced class. We also have a staff class for an hour each day. The 3rd volunteer position is as a tour guide in the Museum. That one is very hard to fill as everyone wants to work with the kids.
Thank you all, and I will try and update this a lot more often.
Babu in the Jungle