Banyan Learning Tree - Image
Home   News   Projects   Our Supporters   Student Activities   About Us   Locations   Contact       DONATIONS
January-December 2014 Happenings


An estimated 5,000,000 landmines still endanger those living in the rural areas of Cambodia. The Rotary Club of Orillia has donated US$2,060 towards landmine eradication.

The donation was made to Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD), founded by Aki Ra. His Cambodian licensed deminers have cleared 80 villages (1.4 million square meters of land) since they began operations 6 years ago.

It costs $17,000/month to to keep the deminers in the field - not a large cost when you consider the countless lives that are spared the horrific injuries and casualties caused by landmines. The donation was made through A Mine Free World Foundation (AMFW) in Canada.

On hand to present the donation are Rotarian Lisa McCoy and Pauline Johns from AMFW. Accepting the donation are CSHD Project Managers Bill and Jill Morse with one of the demining team.

Volunteer, Wayne Sparks from Australia20141203 - Volunteer, Wayne Sparks from Australia Arrives!

Teacher Noun Phearom with Wayne Sparks from Australia.

Wayne has been a welcome volunteer at our school. The students loved his lessons and energy in the classroom.

They did not know what a hamburger Wayne cooked some for them.

We also appreciate your work in the garden Wayne! Continued....

Bicycle Donations<br> Memory of Two Father-In-Laws20141203 - Bicycle Donations in Memory of Two Father-In-Laws

Maria van Santen, A Mine Free World, has donated a bicycle for Noun Sreymuoy.

The bicycle is in the memory of Nicolaas van Santen - Maria's father-in-law.

It has made a little girl very happy.

Hom SreyNeang has received a bicycle donated to the memory of John Breed.

John was the father-in-law of our amazing, hardworking web lady Stephanie.

20141121 - Volunteer, Ashika Strong Arrives - AGAIN!

Ashika Strong Thank you to Ashika who has returned again this year to volunteer at the schools for a month.

She is a nurse so will be busy visiting the villagers and checking their health issues.

Yesterday was a fun day in the library making masks.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and teachers. Continued....

Cambodian Schools CollageCanadian Kindness Felt in Faraway Cambodia

Most people in the bridge world know Barbara Seagram as one of the top teachers, a prolific author and an intrepid tour guide. What's not so well known is how far she will go to help her fellow mankind.

About three years ago, Seagram and fellow tour guide Patti Lee discovered a need in Cambodia and went into action. Today, they and their supporters sustain the operations of four schools in Phnom Penh area, paying for electricity, supplies (including computers) and the salaries of teachers and librarians.

Funds to help run the schools come from the bridge players of Canada. "We couldn't do it without them," says Lee, a retired IBM accountant executive who took up teaching and directing bridge after leaving the company.

Lee has traveled with Seagram for 20 years, organizing and escorting bridge groups in various parts of the world.

Seagram and Lee lately have directed their attention to the construction fo a health clinic, which they estimate will cost $50,000. Continued...

20140808 - Pauline & Lisa UPDATE: Pauline and Lisa Cambodia Arrival Dates
Pauline will be arriving in Cambodia on August 7th for a month! While there, she will be visiting our Takeo schools!

Lisa arrives on November 5th and is staying until end of March! While there she will be in Koh Kong, Siem Reap, Battambang, Svay Rieng and Takeo, before group leaders arrive in December!

Pauline and Lisa CambodiaWe look forward to hearing back from them regarding the latestest news for our schools and special projects!

UPDATE: November 2014

Lisa on her first day in Phnom Penh with soon to be teacher Sophea Keo of the new Banyan Learning Tree School being built this January by Barrie Kempenfelt Rotary and friends.

AND...guess what Pauline captured in the bathroom???? ...after arriving at the village house ( live on location) in Takeo,Cambodia today!!!

Kempenfelt Rotary Club20140808 - The Barrie-Kempenfelt Rotary Club is funding ANOTHER Banyan Learning Tree School in Cambodia

This new school will be built in Daunleb Village, Kouk Pring Commune, Svay Chrum District, Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia!Barrie Rotaract Club

The Barrie Rotaract Club (an international program for adults 18-30 who want to make a difference), has funded the landfill and as soon as the rainy season has finished, the remainder of the landfill will go in.

November 2014: Latrine and Well COMPLETED!

Latrine and Well COMPLETED

View our visit to the Kempenfelt Rotary School Building site in remote Svay Rieng province, Cambodia.

Watch the VIDEO!

and...IN 5 WEEKS: Rotarians and Friends from Rotary District 7010 come to build the school!

The Barrie-Kempenfelt Rotary Club is raising funds for the latrine, well, pump, school building, perimeter fencing, school supplies and furnishings and operating costs for the first eight years!

New School Location Mike and Mary Anne Kinsey from the Club are bringing over a team of 25 Ontario, Canada Rotarians and Friends to build the school and fencing - January 9-30, 2015.

The Grand Opening Ceremony for the school will be held on January 28th where the School Building Team will bejoined by the Ontario Rotary Wheels for Learning Bicycle Distribution Team of 25 to give out 100 bicycles or more, at this new Banyan Learning Tree School.

What a Grand Day it will be with over 50 Ontario Rotarians and Friends at hand for the opening of this rural school.

Our AMFW/BLT local volunteer team member, Sophea Keo will be the teacher at this new school.

Sophea Keo - New TeacherSophea Keo UPDATE: Dec. 7, 2014
Sophea PASSED his Level 6 - CONGRATULATIONS Sophea!

Once the new school is up and running, we hope to continue his English levels and computer classes out of Svay Rieng University - on the weekends.

Special thanks to sponsorship from Mike and Mary Anne Kinsey, Barbara Seagram and Carol Cartier and most recently, Kathy Glazer-Chow and Clare Glazer-Chow (from the 2012 Rotary Wheels for Learning bicycle distribution team to Cambodia who sponsored Sophea's Level 6) for providing him with his continuing English courses at ACE in Phnom Penh. If you would like to sponsor his continuing education, please contact .

December 5, 2014
Landfill is in place thanks to the Barrie Rotaract Club. The Kempenfelt Rotary Club has funded the 45metre deep well and the lavish two-stall latrine that were just finished a week ago, and now the main posts of the perimeter fencing are being constructed.

This new school will provide free English education to area children and provide projects and programs to landmine-affected families under the Banyan Learning Tree organization in Cambodia.

This area has no electricity and no free English schools. Rotary will 'Light Up' this area with many opportunities for children and families.

Lots happening today (Friday, December 12th) at the Rotary Kempenfelt school building site.

New BLT School

Landfill Topped up @ the Kempenfelt Rotary School building Site-Cambodia

December 27, 2014:
More progress underway at the Barrie-Kempenfelt Rotary School building site here in Daunleb, Village, Svay Rieng province, Cambodia! In two weeks, the team of 28+ Rotarians and Freinds from District 7010 begin to arrive in Cambodia to start building the school.

Rotary Kempenfelt School Building Progress - 20141227

To support this project, Contact Mike Kinsey at

January 4, 2015:
The local labourers have arrived at the Barrie-Kempenfelt Rotary School building site!

Rotary Kempenfelt School Building Progress - 20150104

January 7, 2015:
The Water Tower is up and inside toilet pits dug at the KEMPENFELT ROTARY SCHOOL BUILDING SITE IN CAMBODIA.
Rotary Kempenfelt School Building Progress - 20150107

In 3 hours, the first 6 of a team of 28 arrive here in Cambodia to begin building a school in a small village in Svay Rieng province. Construction begins Sunday. Mike Kinsey and MaryAnne Cameron-Kinsey and most of their team of Rotarians and Friends arrive here tomorrow (January 8). Many thanks to Noun Amey and Sophea Keo for organizing the local labour.

Rotary Kempenfelt School Building Progress - 2015011320150113: UPDATE
It's been a very exciting time here in rural Svay Rieng, Cambodia as our team of 28 Rotarians & Friends from District 7010 begin construction of a Free Education School. This service project has seen local families, friends and even our team's van drivers getting involved with all the cement mixing and strenuous work in the heat. Many thanks to our special team members Sophea Keo and Sokhal Seng who take charge of our team and the project.

Rotary Kempenfelt School Building Progress - 20150113

Yesterday was day two at the school build site in a village in Svay Reang Province. What a great day of team work and friendship. Even the locals came out to see what progress we were making. We mixed cement and concrete, by hand, filled buckets, created trains and passed it along as a team to finally hand it off to the local builders to pour into the foundation (View Video).

We are lucky to have such great translators and ( a soon to be teacher) with us to help us along the way!!

The team have been on the school construction site here in Rural Svay Rieng province for only 2 1/2 days and we have the foundation in and 6 of the 12 columns are up. We finish the columns and start bricklaying tomorrow. We are getting amazing help from the local people and our drivers. Many thanks to Noun Amey and his construction team and to Sophea Keo and Sokhal Seng.

To support this project, Contact Mike Kinsey at

Patti Lee Fundraiser20140804 - THANK YOU all the Attendees and Others who attended and supported the Bridge Lessons with Patti Fundraiser for our schools in Cambodia, that was held August 4th at the Syracuse, Liverpool Regional!

Patti Lee contributed her teaching to offer a workshop on Inferences. In lieu of a fee she accepted donations totalling $1,970!!!

The moneys will be used to pay the salary of a teacher in Cambodia for 18 months.

Can-At Regional Halifax
$2000.00 Raised
at the Can-At Regional
on July 1
201407 - Thank You all who supported Barbara Seagram's 2 recent Cambodian fundraisers held at her Out of Town Bridge Seminars!

Bridgewater Duplicate Bridge Club
$500.00 Raised
at the Bridgewater Duplicate Bridge Club
on July 9

20140706 -Rotary Club of Gravenhurst Two-day Garage Sale...Resulted in $5,301.24!
The proceeds will be used to purchase bicycles for children in Cambodia that our team SUCCESSFUL Rotary Club of Gravenhurst Garage Saleof Rotarians and Friends from Ontario will give out this winter in Cambodia!

We already have a team forming to head over to Cambodia to distribute more bikes to needy children. The three-week trip is open to all Rotarians and their Friends. The date is January 27th (arrive in Phnom Penh) to February 17th (depart Phnom Penh). Participants are responsible for booking their own return airfare, ground costs including all transportation, accommodation and meals. This 2015 event will be targeting a couple of new areas. Plans are already underway to distribute bicycles in the following locations: Svay Chrum District in Svay Rieng Province, Chi Pat in Koh Kong province, Phnom Penh, Battambang Province, Siem Reap Province and Takeo Province.

For further details contact Lisa McCoy - , 705-644-0779 or visit their website

THANK you to all who came out and supported the Garage Sale held July 5 & 6, 2014 and made it so SUCCESSFUL!!!

20140619 - WOW!!!! WHAT A FUND RAISER!!!! OVER $22,000 Raised

2014 June Cambodian Fundraiser Barbara Seagram & Patti Lee wish to thank all of the attendees, donors, sponsors, and all of those, who bid on the Silent Auction at our Cambodian fundrasier held on June 19, 2014. See a list of our sponsors 2014 June Cambodian Fundraiser - GENEROUS SPONSORSand please support them.
Please tell them that you saw their contribution here! They really deserve our support.

The Silent Auction bidding began almost a week before the event, with Patti taking bids by phone and email. The excitement rose as we got closer to the event.

The attendees seemed to love the day itself. Barbara taught a lesson on "doubles" and Patti made a presentation on Cambodia and where the money is being spent. A bridge game in the afternoon with prizes and of course, lots of coffee, a nice lunch, sweets and fruit, and door prizes for at least half of the attendees rounded out the day.

Our special thanks to Enid Roitman for all of her help before the event and all day on June 19th. She makes it all look so easy. As well thanks to Cathy Hogg, who helped us that day, and to Mirko and his staff for the wonderful food.

And most of all, thanks to you for your wonderful support. It all happens because of you!

Barbara, Patti, and the children of Cambodia are so appreciative.

Living With Landmines201403 - Terry and Katrina from 2020studios Have ARRIVED!

The southern Ontario based Canadian photo-journalist team of Terry Asma and Katrina Simmons Living With Landminesfrom are returning to Cambodia!

Their first visit to Cambodia in 2005, resulted in raising awareness of the landmine issue in Cambodia with their gallery of photos:
'Living With Landmines' (Click here to view).

Their return to Cambodia on February 21st, 2014, will see them travel into the remote villages of Battambang province for 2-3 weeks with AMFW board member Lisa McCoy and her local team, to film a documentary on a landmine survivor and to produce another gallery of still photos that will document the lives of people living with landmines.

UPDATE: October 2014

The Hamilton Independent Media Awards - "The Maggies"


Congratulations to 2020studios - Living With Landmines, on their win for the Best Journalist - Social Justice & Human Rights

Their touching photos of landmine survivors in Cambodia, were taken during their visit to Cambodia in February/March 2014.


Patti Lee and her husband, Marty, travelled from Canada to visit the BLT Schools20140214 - Patti Lee and her husband, Marty Arrive!

Patti Lee and her husband, Marty (who travelled from Canada), visited the BLT Schools that are supported by her and Barbara Seagram.

Patti, Marty and many of their friends from Canada supplied students with toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens and pencils etc. Also 20 bicycles for needy students and workbooks for all the schools (from the proceeds of the Charity Draw held in Jan.) were also distributed by Patti and Marty on their visit.

Patti had fun in the classrooms with the hand puppets she brought with her. Continued...

20140201 - Volunteer, Neroli Suriajaya Arrives!

Neroli Suriajaya We welcome Neroli Suriajaya from Australia to the village schools.

Neroli will live in the village for 5 weeks and volunteer at Prokeab and Bakot schools.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and teachers. Continued....

20140126 - Rotary Wheels for Learning Arrives

Rotary Wheels for Learning

Many thanks to Rotarians, Clubs, organizations and Individuals who donated towards this cause.

Over the next 3 and a half weeks, our team from the following clubs, will be busy traveling around Cambodia preparing and distributing 1,333 bicycles.

Club members hail from: Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Haliburton, Bridgenorth-Ennismore-Lakefield, Parry Sound, Barrie-Kempenfelt and Matheson. Continued...

White Dove Weaving Centre 20140103 - White Dove Weaving Centre

Watch videos from Day 1 where the 6 women can be seen spinning the cotton onto small spindles! You can also see the looms being set up! The 6 women are being trained by 2 skilled teachers. Three of the women received bicycles as their homes are many miles away from the centre.

White Dove Weaving Centre

UPDATE: November 2014 - Today, Pauline and I had a great visit with Paul from the Sonas weaving village which we visted and with Ban Ven.

Under Paul and Van's new alliance, the RS White Dove weaving centre will bring on 2 more weavers and will be staring some interesting designs beginning December 1st!


Donations via PayPal
Click here...
Donations by Cheque
Regular Post
A Mine Free World Foundation
A Mine Free World Foundation
View Website
Website Design: stephsco© Banyan Learning TreeLandmine Survivor Assistance Cambodia