Gifts4Kids Cambodia

A few years ago, a young couple were sent on work assignments for their jobs in the aviation industry. The work took them to Cambodia, an exciting and far flung adventure with a bit of exotic oriental colour, tastes and sites added. Makes a change from a dreary, grey Scottish winter they probably thought. Get in a bit of world sight-seeing while we are still young. Travel to exciting far away lands. Have a bit of an adventure.

And they found all that. The people of Cambodia are a wonderful; friendly, hard-working and gracious people with a long cultural tradition, beautiful art, tasty foods, sandy beaches and sunshine, palm trees reflected against cloudless skies. Cheap, too, by our standards.  All things we dream about when it’s cold and dark outside.

They had adventures on the way, bunjee jumping, and underwater swimming, encounters with wild animals like tigers. All in all, a great time.

So, why am I writing this post?

Because Michael and Claire  found something else too. Grinding poverty, orphaned children, adults suffering from physical conditions caused by the cocktail of chemicals used during wars in the not-so-distant past that spread havoc and destruction over Cambodia and its neighbouring countries. They even saw children who had been born affected with those same physical handlicaps as the parents which were being passed on to the next generation.

So, a decision was made. They couldn’t just walk away. They had to do something about it.

Their idea was simple. It was provide education in one of the villages as a way to help the children to break out of the cycle of grinding poverty that traps them. There is the old saying: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day: teach him to fish and you feed him for life.

Thus, when they came home, Claire Henderson and Michael Branney started a charity called Gifts4Kids Cambodia. They are sponsoring a young person to go to University to become a teacher. He has been gone for a few years and will soon be done. He will return to the village where he will be able to educate the children.

They started a small school. To begin with, it was literally a sheltering roof put over a gap between the walls of two nearby houses. They began with a couple of children. It was popular, word spread and it grew.

They started an ebay business as a charity to raise funds to support the school, send books, clothes and materials to the children in the Puok district of Cambodia which they decided to help.  They do fundraisers when they are home in Scotland –they live in Glasgow. They also go out to Cambodia, when they can, to visit the school and help with developing their project.

In a few years, since about 2009, what was just an idea to help provide support and education has built up to become a real school. They bought a small piece of land in Puok District and last year they were able to raise a small school building on it. The building has a wood framework covered over with thatch and leaves, the local building materials. You can see the story of the school on the facebook page, in photos, starting from the empty piece of land in a clearing in the trees, as it goes through all its stages, land cleared, wood cut, building frame made and erected, roof frame secured and then the thatching filling in the frame all the way to the finished building. A small two-room village school is born!

They have teachers who do twleve one-hour classes at the school in a day. They are in so much demand that some times 400 extra children show up in a day to see if they can squeeze in to one of the lessons.

See the photos on their Facebook page. You can see the smiling faces of the kids. This is the work of Michael Branney and Claire Henderson and their charity at Gifts4Kids Cambodia. If you have a moment, visit them on Facebook at Gifts4Kids Cambodia and see for yourself what they are doing.

It is heart warming.

Intention and Focus

The first lesson I’ve learned is the importance of intention and focus.

What started out with high purpose and huge enthusiasm quickly morphed into a back page message somewhere in the depths of my inbox. Before I knew it, Week 6 of John’s training program had just popped into my inbox. Week 6! I was barely started into Week 1. Where did that come from? And I thought I was moving, making progress, feeling good… Well, not exactly. No, not really. Not at all, in fact. Face the fact.

The first real lesson. It’s not one on the checklist John sends out every week with his lessons to his students on his Partnership to Success program. But this is fundamental stuff, make it or break it on anything, not just internet marketing, really the first barrier to progress and success..

I took a deep breath. Then I had to take a real good look. What happened? All that busyness I’d been busy on, all those little and big things that came up, and “important” things I’d needed to do. You know. Feed the cat, walk the dog, call my friend, go to the dentist, child’s school-do, the bank, the shops, go to work, pay the bills…All added up to time lost that could never be spent again. You could live a whole life like that.

Well it was time to sort out what my intention was and put some focus on that. Ignore everything else. Sweep it to one side for now.

One step in 6 weeks became 6 steps in one week. What a difference.

A real sense of achievement followed as I actually got things done, and pride too. Two lessons learned, I’d say.

Welcome to my Blog

This is my first post to this new blog and I’m very excited. It’s spring. The sun is shining. It’s a brand new start and a brand new adventure. What could be a better way to start the year –with interest and excitement, full of hope for a better future, an opportunity to learn how to do new things, work at something different and move forward to a better life? Walk with me and share the adventure. And become inspired yourself to try.

Recently, I joined John Thornhill’s Partnership to Success training program. I am amazed and delighted with what I found when I accessed the site he set up for this program. The program is delivered in a series of weekly lessons, each one consisting of several short steps, to be done in sequence. The data is presented in simple, easy-to-follow steps as easy as joining up the dots. And if you are totally new to this, it takes away so much complexity. You don’t have to know what all the buttons on the page are in order to work out which is the one you need to press. John’s already done all the thinking for you. That surely cuts through a lot of confusion and learning curve. As well, he’s already worked out who to go to for what and that simplifies many things  

John presents the information for each lesson in several formats. You can choose to study the lesson as a short online video lasting only a few minutes, as an MP4 file or PDF document. He’s also set it up for iPad, iPhone and iPod users. So you can take your pick as to when, where and how you work through the program.

There’s a wealth of other bonuses that come with the program. To say I am delighted and amazed is an understatement. Between the member’s forum and access to much of John’s other material there is a true abundance of material offered on this, John’s Partnership to Success program. For example you have access to all his ebooks and even materials launched by other students on his program, many of whom have gone on to become successful internet marketers and operate successful businesses online.  You are welcome to join us and take part in this exciting adventure.

Aileen Pollock





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