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Nearly 160 staff, volunteers and representatives from the Catholic Church came together in  the 24th annual staff gathering from 5-6 December 2017 at Sihanouk Ville church.
  This year marks the anniversary of 24th year gathering of Caritas Cambodia’s staff members, organized at St Michael Parish Catholic Church in Sihanouk Ville province from 5-6 December 2017. Approximately 160 staff members from all programs and projects and representatives from the Catholic Church-Battambang dioceses presented at the event.

As of every year, the yearly gathering is the time when all staff members, volunteers and representatives from the church come together to discuss things and build the future plan based on the spirit of love and compassion.

The meeting serves not only to recognize and appreciate the hard work of all staff, volunteers over the past year and the occasion to strengthen our relationship among team and the local Catholic Church, but also to focus on environment and our care for social work. The main theme of this year is “Journey of Compassion: Ecological Protection”. And there are two main activities in our 2-day meeting including 1/ distribution of study materials and building awareness on environment and green school concept to primary students; and 2/ planting tree activity as part of Caritas’s annual campaign to care for environment.
At the event, Fr. Un Sun, gave a warm welcomed remark to all participants and wished for the fruitful meeting. Addressing participants at the gathering, Mr. Kim Rattana, Caritas Cambodia Executive Director, took the opportunity to explain about ‘year of compassion’ and ‘ecological protection’ and why Caritas Cambodia takes the issues seriously. His presentation was followed by the brief presentation of the ‘green school’ concept shared by the Program Manager of Climate Change desk, Mr. Chhay Meng who later distributed the ‘green school concept’ leaflet to all participants.

To make participant learn with deeper understanding, all had a reflection session on environmental concept, protection and the impact of environmental degradation. The session was led by Fr. Gabriel Lamug, from Karuna organization. Besides sharing the key concept note, he presented the video highlighting the importance of environment, its relationship with human being; and underlined how people can do to protect and conserve environment.

On the afternoon, participants joined in school activity. All traveled 30 km down to Hun Sen Both Semorn Primary School to build awareness on environment to students and teachers. Moreover, 315 students received study

 
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Picture from left to right: Fr. Un Sun, Bishop Enrique Figaredo (Kike) and Fr. Gabriel retreat17 03
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materials including a school bag, book, pencil, ruler, correction pen, pencil sharpener, toothpaste and toothbrush, and water bottle. Thanks to all staffs, private companies namely Manulife, UNILIVER and other private donors who support all these materials for the rural poor students. They smiled and expressed happiness when receiving the school kits. The first day was then ended up with a planting tree activity, held in the compound of the school. On the second day of the meeting- 6th December, all were invited to join the core activity on planting tree as part of the commitment to save environment.  Thanks to the Ministry of Environment and the provincial department and local community who facilitated our program.

Beside these activities, the gathering gives an opportunity for all staff members to enjoy an end-year solidarity dinner. The night was ended with a joyful Christmas celebration and the exchanged of gift given by individual staff and donated from local private partners.

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Activities on the distribution of study materials to students and planting tree activity at Hun Sen Both Semorn Primary School in Sihanouk Ville province on 5th December 2017
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Activities on mangrove planting on 6th December 2017
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Activities on the Christmas celebration night at the beach
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