Learn and Live (Happy Hearts)Our work in Cambodia.
In 2008, Happy Hearts Founder, Mardy, saw children in the rural villages of Puok, Cambodia were not in school. He worried this was not setting children up for their future and he wanted to create a space they could go to everyday to be together and have routine. Therefore, a Sunday school was formed at a local house, where children could sing hymns, learn about the bible, and play games. This developed to offer English classes, as English is advantageous in landing a good job in Cambodia. These lessons still took place in one house, and it soon became crowded. Mardy built a building in 2009 for children to go daily, a few years later the place became known as Happy Hearts. It has expanded and now offers IT lessons (after being donated laptops). Happy Hearts is now a registered NGO and like a second home to its 250 students.
Help Happy HeartsTeams4U funded Happy Hearts to get off the ground, and Happy Hearts has been running independently since. However, Happy Hearts needs funding to upgrade their toilet block. It has become dilapidated and insufficient over the years. With your help, children will be able to focus at school and not leave the centre to go to the toilet. Girls will be able to attend on their period, rather than skipping classes because there is private safe space to change their sanitary pads.
Happy Hearts has six English classes and an IT computer lab where they can learn skills. All lessons are free, Mardy and his wife largely fund the charity themselves. Having fun and playing games is important too, especially as the children often work in the mornings to earn money for their families. Happy Hearts helps children have a childhood while increasing their life prospects and quality of life.
Recently a volunteer, Olivia Krawczyk, who previously volunteered to help deliver our Dignity programme in Uganda, spent several months with Happy Hearts in Cambodia. Olivia made resources for Happy Hearts, developed a website, their brand and social media identity, and trained the teachers to deliver the Dignity programme. The young people at Happy Hearts now learn about puberty, menstrual and sexual health and are empowered to make healthy life choices.