Norwich pupil's book aids Cambodian churches
A story book written by a Norwich student has helped to cement links between young Catholics in the city and children in Cambodian schools and churches.
Stowed away in luggage en route to Cambodia recently were 12 copies of Croak, a children’s story book about a family of birds, written and illustrated as a project by Amy Baker, a Sixth Form student at Notre Dame High School, Norwich.
The school has an ongoing interest in overseas developing countries, and Amy’s books were donated to help young Cambodians learning English. As Charity and Schools Liaison Officer of Norwich Circle of the Catenian Association, John McLean was taking the copies of Croak to the parishes and missions in Cambodia supported by the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia.
With his son Philip, John met Bishop Kike, the Apostolic Prefect of Battambang Province and his assistant Fr Pedro Gomez, who were delighted to receive such a beautiful, inspiring and helpful gift! They could immediately see how Croak would be useful for young, and not so young learners, especially in the extension of their vocabulary.
Also stowed in the luggage were other learning materials such as paper, pencils and pens as well as a supply of toothpaste and toothbrushes, much sought-after in Cambodia, and all kindly donated by the children of the First Communion Group at St John’s Cathedral in Norwich and other supporters and friends.
John conveyed an offer from St Augustine’s Primary School in Costessey, Norwich, which has already been granted a prestigious award by the British Council for its efforts in developing ties with schools in other countries. This includes regular “Skyping” with schools in Argentina.
The School is running a “Save a Penny to Spend a Penny” campaign; pupils donate small amounts of money on a regular basis and it is hoped that the money collected will go towards a project in Cambodia relating to sanitation or water usage. Again, Bishop Kike was pleased and grateful for St Augustine’s support and he envisages that it could be used to purchase and install a water purification system or a toilet for the disabled.
It is hoped that the visit will lead to fruitful and lasting relations including swapping of e-mail addresses to enable young people in Cambodia and the UK to communicate with each other, and eventually, exchange visits.
Pictured above, from the left, are Philip McLean, Bishop Kike, John McLean and Fr Pedro Gomez.