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Waratahs fundraising provides Happy Days Cambodian girls with passport out of poverty

The Manly Warringah Waratahs have significantly impacted the lives of 6 Cambodian girls from the Happy Days charity as part of our Styleness Manly for Manly Community program.

At the start of the season, the Manly Warringah Waratahs playing group held a fundraiser at Manly Oval in lieu of it’s anuall start of season players party.

Attended by the playing group, partners, board members, sponsors, members, ex-players and supporters, the evening was a huge success with the club raising $12,000 towards the education  of five year 10 and 1 year 11 female Cambodian village high school students.

All the girls are from peasant rice farming families who have no source of monetary income.  All live in countryside, north west Cambodia near Angkor Wat. If left in the village most would have dropped out of school been married and mothers by 18.

As a result of the funds raised, the girls have been able to move away from their village to attend school in the city of Siem Reap, a resort town in the North West of Cambodia.

The girls are Srey Neang, Kosal, Kea, So Phal, Pos and Sony. All the girls are currently in year 10 with the exception of Srey Neang who is in year 11.

Unfortunately Srey Neang lost her father this year in May last year and is 1 of 10 children in her family. This is similar to the tragedy that many of these girls have experienced, but they are still full of life and excited to see what their future holds

Srey Neang is actually so clever that she has received a scholarship from her school due to her grades and school results.

The girls live in Siem Reap in a rented house with a guardian, 29 year old Kim Sady, and attend Hun Sen high school. They rarely get a chance to visit their families, who are a 3 hour bike ride away.

Each girl costs $2000 per anum. This includes:

  • $3 food a day.   Total $1000 p.a.
  • $2.50 per week spending allowance.
  • The rest is made up of education costs.

They attend school daily from 7am to 11am.  1 pm to 5pm. 6pm to 7 pm.  6 days a week and an extra 4 hours on Sunday.  A total of 58 hours a week spent at school, but there is no where else that they would rather be. There are 500 students in each year and all the girls are in the top few in their class of approx. 60 students.

The kind of benefits they don’t have in the village include electricity, toilet, internet, decent meals and excellent study conditions.

Their education opportunities have been made possible by the money raised by the Manly Warringah Waratahs. It is their passport out of poverty and a chance to dream things they could never have imagined without this sponsorship.

A big thanks to all the playing group and members of the Manly Cricket family who have helped bring joy to these girls through the money raised. It is all through our association with one of our community partners, Happy Days Cambodian Village School charity, which of course is run by the godfather of Manly Cricket, Mike Pawley.

The girls are very happy and grateful beyond words for this incredible, unexpected opportunity.