Fr. Albeiro Rodas, Director and Founder

 

Fr. Ángel Fernández Artimi, 10th successor of Don Bosco, Rector Major of the Salesians, visited Cambodia in March 2016. Fr. Albeiro Rodas with Fr. Ángel in Siem Reap on March 1, 2016.
Fr. Ángel Fernández Artimi, 10th successor of Don Bosco, Rector Major of the Salesians, visited Cambodia in March 2016. Fr. Albeiro Rodas with Fr. Ángel in Siem Reap on March 1, 2016.

Fr. Albeiro Rodas, known by the children as Fr. Samnang, is from the Republic of Colombia. He is the Director and Founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund (DBKCF). He did Social Communication & Journalism at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana of Medellín between 1989 and 1995. In that year he joined the Salesians of Don Bosco. He arrived in Cambodia on October 12, 1999 to work as a member of the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia. He dedicated his first years in Cambodia to study the language, the history and culture of this country and comparing it with his own nation, Colombia.

Between 2001 and 2005 he was a student of Theology & Biblical Archaeology at the Salesian Institute of Cremisan in Bethlehem, Palestine – transferred to Ratisbonne in West Jerusalem in 2004. He was back in Cambodia by August 2005 to work at Don Bosco Children Home of Poipet (Banteay Meanchey Province). In that first year he did a research on the problem of human traffic affecting children, women and young people. From that year he began to think that the skill of social communication and journalism  could give a meaningful contribution to the Cambodian development and the idea that Cambodians should feel the first responsible of their own progress.

In 2006 the Salesian superiors transferred him to the Don Bosco Technical School of Sihanoukville as Vice-Rector to Fr. John Visser, one of the founders of the Don Bosco presences in Cambodia (1991). Here he presented the proposal of a School of Social Communication & Journalism for young people from vulnerable communities. The mission was to train young leaders in social and media communication for Cambodia. The idea was original in the context of the traditional Don Bosco technical education that was centered in training youth in industrial skills like automotive, electricity, welding, mechanics and printing. It was also the first experience of social and media communication offered in a systematic way to youth from poor communities. With the great support from Fr. Visser, the first experience of social and media communication training was open on October 2007 with a group of 12 students young men, selected from all those applicants to the Technical School in Sihanoukville. The school (hereby ‘section’) was located at the campus of the technical school. Thanks to the promotion of Fr. Visser, benefactors from the Netherlands, Germany and United States of America joint to help in the construction of the Don Bosco Audiovisual Center with three studios for radio, television and edition. The first studios were completely destroyed by a mysterious fire on May 9, 2009. Rapid solidarity came to the support of Fr. Rodas for the rebuilding. The presence of many volunteers have been also a characteristic of the Social Communication Training Project, coming from every corner of the planet. The existence of the Social Communication & Journalism School of Don Bosco has been very much important to deep in the knowledge of the Cambodian social realities. In this way, the students and teachers focus on the knowledge of their own national context in connection with the global needs of today. Inside a humanistic framework, students and teachers become sensible to the gloomy realities of child, women and young social problems (HIV, domestic violence, drugs, child labor, child migration, street children, etc). But also to underline the virtues of the Cambodian cultural, social and millennial values, Cambodian identity and dream for a best society.

In 2011 the Salesian superiors gave to Fr. Rodas the high responsibility to lead the foundation of a new technical school and children fund project in Kep Province. In the span of five year, with the support of benefactors, volunteers, teachers, students, children and past pupil, the Project grew from an almost empty land to an Academic complex dedicated to the Cambodian children and youth. Leading the Project with a concept of diversity, environment protection, attention to persons with special physical conditions, ethnic minorities and both genders equal opportunities, Don Bosco Kep has become a model of educative development in the region.

The Don Bosco Kep Children Fund got a special dimension in Don Bosco Kep with three basic programs: the Kindergarten for local children, the Scholarship Program for children at risk in Kep, Kampot, Takeo and Ratanakiri and the Don Bosco Brother Sun Kids’ Residence Program for teenagers at risk to live in Don Bosco Kep, while studying in the Kep local schools. 120 children from 3 to 17 years old participate in this Program thanks to the team work of benefactors, volunteers and social workers.


Fr. Albeiro Rodas or Fr. Ly Samnang, is MA in Digital Communication (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana). In 2010 he received the Medal of his own University (Pontificia Bolivariana) for Social Commitment UPB. He is in the list of the 2012’s Most Standing Hundred Colombians Abroad by Marca Colombia.

Kindergarten Sponsorship Program

The Don Bosco Kep Kindergarten for local kids. An opportunity to help poor children to get the first basis of education.
The Don Bosco Kep Kindergarten for local kids. An opportunity to help poor children to get the first basis of education.

This year Don Bosco Technical School & Children Fund in Kep Province is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary.

We are very proud to say that we now have 250 technical students in our classrooms and workshops.

Now we wish to complete our Educative Mission by improving the Kindergarten Program, a branch of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund.

The Kindergarten accepts children from the age of three for a period of up to three years, then they can start the regular classes up to 12th grade .

During three years these children learn the basic social skills – many come from poor families, whose parents have no schooling at all – and acquire the skills that will allow them to access the regular Don Bosco education starting from Primary to Graduation (12th grade).

At their stay at the Kindergarten, dedicated teachers care for their education and activities in the following areas:

  • Transport to and from school (a van picks them at their home and brings them back).
  • Meals.
  • Uniforms.

The total cost is $55 per month. Although it is a very reasonable amount, for many Cambodian families it can be a real unpayable fortune.

The Sponsorship Program is aimed at allowing those children to attend by subsidizing the fee to the amount of $25 per month. The balance ($30) must be assumed by their parents. Their contribution ensures that the parents keep the interest and commitment of the education of their own children.

In order to insure the stability of the Sponsor Program, we require a minimum of a one year commitment of $300: $25 x 12 months = $300 year + $10 (bank transfer fee). Ideally, we would appreciate the full payment of $300 x 3 years = $900.

We hope and pray that many of you will respond by becoming SPONSORS in order to give these children their chance for a proper education, which will allow them to live a prosperous independent and fruitful life.

Blessings,

Don Albeiro Rodas (Fr. Samnang)

For how to DONATE, please click here.

Donation Campaign | Sponsor Pha

 2Pha (given name) is a 10 years old boy. He is study in grade 1 at Trorpang Sala Khang Lech Primary School (Kampot Province). He is the first child among 2 siblings.

Since his parents divorced one year ago, his father married a second wife and he left home to work as a construction worker in Phnom Penh. Nowadays Pha lives with his aunt who is a farmer with no stable income.

Pha is a sickly boy. He suffers from a disease of follicular tumors and he needs to exchange transfusion for every two months that cost 200 $ per each time.
With his family’s poor financial situation, it is almost impossible to provide Pha with the Medical Aid.

Of course, it is only imaginable with all those hardships facing this family; it is a huge struggle for them to continue sending Pha to school. Yet like any parents, they desire for their children to receive education, to receive academically as probably the only means to have a bright future in Cambodia where more than half the population lives bellow the poverty line.

SPONSOR PHA NOW

Donation Campaign | Sponsor Thavy

Miss Pisey is a 10 year old girl, orphan of father. She is a grade 3 student of Phi Meah Primary School, Preak Phene District (Takeo Province). She has a 5 years old brother.

Her father died on August 2013 from a long decease, including a mental ilness that rendered him incapable of doing any work. Pisey’s father’s parents spent almost the entire family fortune, in vain, to seek medical aid for him. As many Cambodians still believe in the healing ability of monks, Chivie’s father’s parents sent him to see a monk after which his conditions allegedly improved. That is where Pisey’s father met Pisey’s mother, a villager, and then got married.

They had 3 children, only to have Pisey’s father’s condition worsen and he died by unknown circumstances. Pisey’s mother, now the sole breadwinner, toiled hard as a silk weaver to support the family. Pisey’s grandmother who was staying with them passed away recently. In order to be able to bury the two deceased of the family, Pisey’s mother sold all the land they had.

Pisey’s sick aunt also turned up unexpectedly one day, further taxing on Pisey’s family to find money for medical treatment. Her aunt then passed away as well, and Chivie’s family is now completely out of money and resources after having to bury 3 deceased in a span of 2 years.

As of today, Pisey lives with her young brother and mother in a hastly put together hut and own absolutely nothing. They do not even own rice fields to plant rice for self-subsistence. Pisey often goes to bed on an empty stomach and rarely has enough to wear.

To further worsen the plight of this family, Pisey’s mother was recently diagnosed with having cervical cancer, but will not seek medical attention as that is beyond what this family can afford.

Should Pisey’s mother pass away soon, as cancer left untreated is fatal, Pisey will be left an orphan and schooling would be an impossible option. The biggest fear is that Pisey and her siblings will be forced onto the streets, putting themselves as innocent prey to many human trafficking syndicates in Cambodia.

This is why we seek your most gracious assistance to help out Pisey and her family whose living conditions will only deteriorate with the passing of time. Pisey’s story is heart-breaking and urgent help is truly needed.

Your support to Pisey can make all the difference. Your support to can help keep Chivie in school and to provide her with at least the necessary education for a better future. Your support will be more than monetary, you can show this little girl that someone somewhere out there cares about her.

Your support will encourage her to hang on and to never stop hoping for a better tomorrow. Most importantly, we need your
support to help Pisey not to fall prey to the many predators out there who pick on vulnerable children like her.
We thank you for your kindness and generosity from the most bottom of our hearts.

SPONSOR PISEY NOW

Donation Campaign | Sponsor Sovanra

2Veasan is an 8 years old boy. He is studying in grade 2 at Phnhi Meas Primary School (Takeo Province). He has 2 brothers.

His family own neither land nor even small fields for plantation as a means of self-subsistence. In order to try to support the family, Veasna’s parents both left to the capital, Phnom Penh, to find jobs. His father works as a moto driver and does not have a stable income, depending on the economic situation. His mother works in a shoes factory, earning a measly $20 a week.

With absent parents who visits only once in about two months, Veasna lives with his grandmother. His grandmother is old and each day it is a struggle to take care of Sovanra and his brothers. His grandmother tries her best to continue sending little Sovanra to school. Yet with the passing of time, it will only become harder and harder for her to continue as she does. He risks losing his chance of studying, maybe even his home if ever the government reclaims the land.

Education is possibly the only chance for Veasna to have a brighter future, a means to break free of this cycle of poverty which entraps so many Cambodian families. Hence we appeal to your gracious kindness to help Veasna to continue his schooling.

Your support will be so much more than financial aid. Your support will show him that someone, somewhere out there cares about him. You can help him build a better future; you can allow him to dream of a life beyond the one he knows of.
We thank you for your kindness and generosity from the bottom of our hearts!

SPONSOR VEASNA NOW

Opening doors to the future for children of Kep, Kampot, Takeo and Ratanakiri