Last year a project team from ISIS – a fitout and refurbishment company based in Sydney – worked with SeeBeyondBorders on a number of infrastructural improvements at Prek Norin, a school in Battambang.
The ISIS team, moved by the poor quality of education and the desperate need for building and health facility improvements at many of the schools in Battambang, selected SeeBeyondBorders as their charity of choice for their annual Golf Day.
To support this event, and to bring a little bit of a Cambodian touch along, it was decided to engage a class at Prek Norin in a handprint activity and to send these to Sydney where they would be framed and ultimately displayed in the ISIS office foyer.
Making the handprints was an event in itself which started with a journey along the dusty rural roads of Battambang in a Tuktuk for Kate, Ed and myself, with Boeb, our Cambodian Country Manager, speeding on ahead on his motor cycle. Once we arrived at the school there was much setting up to do with organising a handprint station, a hand washing station, a print drying section and a photography corner. The class of thirty Grade 2 students watched excitedly as everything was prepared and were soon following the printing pipeline from print to photo. Kate and Ed undertook the task painting lots of little hands, with the children choosing which colours they wanted, so as to add a flair of individuality to the activity. In addition to doing a print for Sydney each child also did a print that they could take home with themas a reminder of the morning.
Keeping track that each child did two handprints and was photographed with their print required focussed attention from our side and there were mild episodes of chaos along the way. The children assumed very serious faces as each carefully held up their print for their individual photo. However, for the group photo at the end there were broad grins as each child proudly displayed the print that they would take home.
By Sue Westraad,
Program and Project Documentation Co-ordinator, SeeBeyondBorders