25 October, 2010

Her Excellency, Ms Penny Richards, helps celebrate Mural Project

Australian Ambassador to Cambodia, Her Excellency, Ms Penny Richards, was thrilled to be a part of the Epic Arts/Rose Rehab Mural Celebration on Friday 22nd October, 2010. We feel very honoured to have had her attend and participate in our celebration and recognition of the amazing abilities of all people. Joanna (Rose Rehab) and fellow Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (AYAD), Naomi Gow of Epic Arts, were successful in gaining a small assignment support grant from AYAD to run the Mural Project together. Rose Rehab needed the big white wall in the therapy area to be brought to life, and Epic Arts, being an organisation that aims to promote empowerment, integration and acceptance of people with disabilities through art, dance and music programs seemed the perfect partner. By networking with Epic Arts, we are forging a new relationship where health, arts and vocational training will be used to inspire and empower people with disabilities.
For the week of the 18th October until the 22nd, we were lucky enough to have Epic Arts students, all of whom are deaf, teach people with disabilties in the art of mural painting. 6 women with physical disabilties from the Prey Veng Supportive Homes and several patients from Rose Rehab participated in the project, as well as many hospital staff, children, and passers by. For the entire week, disability of the participants was not recognised. Everyone was given a go, everyone participated, and everyone was on an equal level. The participants themselves reported this as being one of the best things about the week, that everyone was respected. Another participant commented that for this week, she was doing her first ever job and she felt no discrimination.
The impact of conducting this project during this week was enormous. So many people joined; the tuk tuk driver, the cleaner, the interpreter, the children whose mother was in the maternity ward. It was such a positive vibe, with the awe of onlookers obvious as they marvelled at the ability of people in wheelchairs, or with no hands, to paint such a beautiful mural. Everyone was patient, and everyone helped out other people. Adaptions were made where necessary, and everyone felt included and valued.

We begin with a very big blank wall! Straight to the cutting in

Already looking good with the base coats The drawings begin, Roath and Sokna

The wall is really alive now!!!

And the absolutely marvellous finished product. Congratulations to everyone!!

A very proud bunch!

Friday afternoon buzzed with excitement as the celebrations began. We were fortunate enough to have Master Kong Nai, famous Cambodian blind musician, play for us through out the ceremony, as well as a vibrant performance from the very skilled 'Tiny Toones'. Tiny Toones Cambodia uses breakdancing, Hip-Hop music, and the contemporary arts as creative tools to empower the youth of Cambodia to live healthier lives free of HIV and drugs, build a more promising future by furthering their educational opportunities, and become positive role models for their community. They welcome all youth to participate in its programs, regardless of gender, social-economic status, physical handicaps, family background, or other personal disadvantages. Their performance was quite spectactular on Friday! All participants received certificates of achievement to both a loud round of applause and 'deaf clapping', which is shimmering of your hands up by your head!
Blind musician, Master Kong Nai, plays through out the ceremony

Dr Nous Sarom, Dr Prak Phorn (Chief of Operational District), Her Excellency Ms Penny Richards, Joanna, Naomi Gow (Epic Arts), Mr Ull Meng Hour (Prey Veng)

Chan Chea stands and walks to receive her certificate, with the very kind, and unprompted assistance from a young 'Tiny Toone'. Example of the respect and consideration for all that was evident throughout the week.

Srey Tum receives her certificate as the audience watch on and enjoy

Tiny Toones perform!!

Dr Nous Sarom (Rose Charities and Vice Director of Chey Chumneas Hospital and Dr Kong Chhunly (Director of Chey Chumneas) address the audience

Her Excellency, Ms Penny Richards, with local Rose Rehab staff members, and below with Prey Veny women and Mr Ull Meng Hour

A fabulous end to an amazing week. Congratulations to all who participated in the mural project, it was such a success!
Recognising Ability ~ Every Person Counts

19 October, 2010

Rose Rehab Supports Prey Veng Supportive Homes

Rose Rehabilitation is currently endeavouring to support the maintenance of two Supportive Homes, one for female people with disabilities and one for male people with disabilities, located in Prey Veng Town, Cambodia. These homes provide a safe, supportive environment that allows their members accessible proximity to mainstream education such as High Schools, Universities and Vocational Training Centres in Prey Veng Town. The opportunity to attend school was previously difficult for these people due to them living in very isolated, rural villages without the means or accessible routes to such Education Centres.

These homes will also provide their members with the relevant skills needed to enable them to live independent lives and will encourage them to follow the natural progression for young adults and to break away from dependence on their families. They can now explore their capabilities and see what they can achieve through gaining a well-rounded education and equal access to employment opportunities. This program allows members to become role models - pioneers in fact - for other people with disabilities - showing them that they too can follow their dreams and can have the ability to lead independent and fulfilling lives, and in time will be able to generate their own incomes.

These boys and girls need your help - we currently have 17 out of 29 members that still require sponsorship. Sponsorship includes both living costs and educational requirements and equals approximately US$675/year for a girl (US$57/month) and US$815for a boy (US$68/month).

There are 18 girls and 11 boys respectively in the Supportive Homes which accounts for the differences in costs for living expenses.

Project Founder, Mr Ull Meng Hour outside the second building for the Girl's Supportive Home

The entrance to the new Boy's Supportive Home (they rent downstairs only)