Phasing out towards 2019
Norway House is now in a transition phase. All of our projects will end and will be phased out during the first half of 2019. We will complete everything we have started, but if we start up new projects, we need to ask for more money from our contributors . In recent years, it has proved to be harder to maintain Norway House's (NH) involvement as key people have moved from Singapore and those who make up the local NH team in Singapore today do not have a long-term perspective in the country. The board of Norway House has therefore decided to close down the foundation in 2019.
It is 16 years since work began at Khmer Friendship Orphanage outside Phnom Penh. Then there were over 250 children who were strongly affected by both lack of food and care failure for many years. The project was eventually called Norway House, which was continued through the foundation "Norway House Cambodia Fund", established in Singapore. It all started as a care project that ensured children's food and health, and has evolved into a project that has also focused on school and education. The number of children in the Orphanage has been reduced by the authorities for many years and there are currently 19 children there. Most are youth and there are only a few children under school age. We provide no fixed contributions besides paying for a nurse visiting the orphanage one day a week. In addition, our assistance includes ad hoc purchasing of food and equipment during visits and repairs, such as the water tower being repaired in our spring.
In addition to Norway House (NH), a smaller private French aid organization has helped the orphanage in all these years and they will continue to support the last children in the orphanage until it is emptied completely. They will visit the children at least once a month and assist in financing apprenticeships in the local industry. They have enough resources for this work.
In 2007, NH established a program for students at universities and colleges and since then we have had 25 students who have received support. Today there are 4 Bachelor students left, two of which are scheduled for completion in 2020 and two in 2021, one has also received an exchange program in Israel now between her Bachelor's and Master's programs. , We have fully budgeted for the final completion for the next few years. We have also granted support to a 2-year-old Master for Theary that we have known since she was a little girl at the orphanage, read her story here
In 2013, NH started a school project in collaboration with the Child Rights Foundation (CRF) to improve the teaching conditions of a Primary school with 500 children in the Siem Reap area. The project was completed in 2016 and we brought the experience into a new school project that was started the same year at Prek Rokar Secondary School with 121 students. Phase 1 of this project will be completed in November 2018 and phase two starting in January 2019 will expire in June 2019. Funds have been set for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 in our budgets in 2018 and 2019.
As it appears, Norway House has developed into an education project independent of the orphanage which was the original purpose of our project. This can also be one of the reasons that it has been difficult to maintain Norway House's engagement in competition with many other good projects in the region that support education. The board of Norway House finds it challenging to establish a solid platform for further work and has therefore decided that new projects are not launched and that Norway House is closed down after phase 2 of the school project has been completed in June 2019. There are funds for the implementation of all education programs and these will, as today, be administered by CRF. The funds remaining after phasing out the projects will be used on projects within the purpose of Norway House.
We would like to thank all of you who has been volunteers and have supported Norway House over the years. Together we have helped create unique opportunities for many children and young people. Please read what some of the young people say here. We are confident that many Norway House supporters will continue to have a commitment to children and youth in Cambodia and maintain contact with many of the beautiful youngsters we have become familiar with. We will also encourage continued engagement through the project of Irene Rommen.
Our longstanding supportors, CRF, also receive support from private donors for their many projects.
Oslo / Singapore, September 18, 2018
Norway House Cambodia Fund