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Romantic rose can help build a better life for Cambodian children

Buying a rose was not just a romantic gesture for electricity workers in Suffolk today – it was also helping children in Cambodia.

From Press releases - 13 February 2015 12:00 AM

Roses - Theresa and Chloe.jpg

Buying a rose was not just a romantic gesture for electricity workers in Suffolk today – it was also helping children in Cambodia.

The fund-raiser at the UK Power Networks offices in Barton Road, Bury St Edmunds, was set up to help the charity Children with Hope for Development in Cambodia.

UK Power Networks owns and maintains the vast amount of overhead power lines, underground cables and substations which deliver electricity to the doors of eight million homes and business across East Anglia, London and the South East.

Theresa Yong, an infrastructure planning engineer for the company, was behind the drive to sell the roses, which will help raise money to buy a door for the new concrete-built computer room at a school in Po Village in the Takeo Province of Cambodia. The original room was an old farmhouse which was in poor condition and made from timber, zinc and palm leaves which made it too hot to teach in during the day. Lessons had to be cancelled when it rained as there were no walls and snakes and centipedes would flood into the classroom.

As well as selling real roses, Theresa also sold origami roses which she and her colleague Chloe Brown made themselves. They also held a mini-workshop to show colleagues how to make them.

The village is in a poorly serviced remote, rural area with unmade roads. The children come from poor rice cropping families and have limited prospects to assist them break out of the cycle of poverty.
The organisation offers free education to children aged six to 17 from the village and the surrounding community. This will help them compete against children from urban and private schools.

Theresa,25, had volunteered to teach English at the school when she left university.

She said there were no basic facilities or toilets at the school but still children would travel many miles to learn.

Theresa said: “I was out there for several months and it was fascinating to see the children.

“They probably didn’t even understand what I was saying but they still wanted to stay and they were really keen to learn. One day a snake came into the classroom while I was teaching and sometimes children would hunt snakes and field mice in the field for food.

“I really enjoyed my time there and I wanted to carry on helping them.

“They need a door to the computer room which costs about £50. I’ve managed to raise about £120 so far. My colleague Chloe Brown has been great, helping me to make the origami roses so I’d like to say a big thanks to her as well as all the people who bought them.”

Staff at UK Power Networks raise money for many different charities throughout the year and last year collected about £80,000 through fundraising events across its offices.