Financial Report for 2022
In 2022, after two long years of pandemic, all countries were working to ensure their children’s education returned to normal. Children in need and those who are handicapped or illiterate were the most badly affected but their resilience helped them through this crisis, as it has done the many other crises in their lives.
Our association, Don du Choeur, has been helping vulnerable children for almost 20 years and is committed to providing access to quality education to help break the cycle of poverty and reduce inequality in a lasting way.
Thanks to your help, dear friends and benefactors of Don du Choeur, children in Mexico, Madagascar and Cambodia have been able to pursue their studies in a healthy and educational sound environment.
The dedication and drive of our Geneva volunteers and the local teams in situ, along with the support of Geneva’s private schools, have allowed Don du Choeur to continue to fulfil its mission for the benefit of 916 pupils.
In Geneva, our association has worked with a web designer to entirely update its website and logo, in line with the dynamism with which we are confronting the new challenges facing us. A vital tool of communication, the website sets out what we have been doing in the field of education and allows us to share news and updates in a simple and visually appealing way.
In October, we organized a jazz evening at the Brasserie des Artisans that attracted more than 100 friends of Don du Choeur. It was a great occasion to finally renew contact after the pandemic and to share both an excellent meal and a very lively tombola. The evening gathered 11,985.90 CHF towards our work in Mexico.
In Mexico, this sum will enable us to build, in 2023, individual practice rooms for the students of the Santa Cecilia music school. Currently, vital preparatory work is underway, financed by other partners, to improve access to drinking water and the storage of rainwater.
Don du Choeur currently provides bursaries for eight students studying music at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City).
In Madagascar, we are working with SOS Villages d’Enfants on a three-year plan to provide educational and community support in Andohasatra, which will be the object of our next concert.
In Cambodia, our school has finally been able to return to a normal rhythm. Picking up speed post-Covid was difficult and involved two months of intense catch-up in reading and mathematics.
We are proud of the results of our final year pupils at junior high school, all of whom succeeded in attaining their leaving certificates. We are also proud of the results of former pupils who have gone on to university or into professional training programmes.
In 2023, we hope to enlarge the junior high school, more rooms allowing us to have smaller classes, and this will also be the object of our next concert.
Detailed breakdown of our activities in 2022
- The association contributed 4,200 CHF to the bursaries of eight of our music students, enrolled at the UNAM since 2022.
- Climate change has made living conditions in the south of Madagascar particularly challenging.
- Access to water and food has become even more vital for the 360 pupils attending the public school of Andohasatra. The World Food Programme makes regular deliveries to the school; the school canteen is open four days a week.
- Thanks to the friends and benefactors of Don du Choeur we have:
- financed school supplies for year (1,067.50 CHF)
- launched, in December 2022, our three-year action plan and training programme, in collaboration with SOS Villages d’Enfants (20,000 euros/year) and made a first payment of 10,000 euros.
- Our goals are clear-cut:
- provide school supplies for 200 primary school pupils;
- contribute to the feeding and education of 30 children attending secondary school in Betioky;
- provide welfare assistance for the most vulnerable families and specific training (weaving, goat-rearing, subsistence farming) for the most stable ones;
- give financial autonomy and greater stability to the 40 families that are part of this programme of aid and development
- A social assistance office will soon be opened in the school, a branch of SOS Villages d’Enfants, to watch over the families, protect the children from domestic violence and set up plan for community support.
- The project is headed up and managed by Claude-Alain Burky, a member of the Don du Choeur committee, based in Tuléar.
Cambodia was hard hit by the pandemic and tourism is returning slowly.
Our local team has been able to ensure, in collaboration with the families, that pupils now return regularly to school after the long period of closure.
Absolute priority has been given to reading, but English, computing and sport have also been kick-started after a gap of two years.
Five out of six former pupils of Ta Pen received their senior high school diplomas in 2022 and all are now undertaking further studies.
Twenty pupils received their junior high school leaving certificates (a 100% success rate).
Overall school results, however, dropped slightly in 2022: 82.7% success rate in primary school; 77.4% success rate in senior high school; and a high drop-out rate (10.5%) due principally to the economic crisis.
The overall expenses of the Cambodia project reached 143,133 CHF in 2022, compared to 96,010 CHF in 2021, distributed as follows:
a) Upkeep of the primary school and junior high school (552 pupils)
(118,399 CHF in 2022 compared to 84,651CHF in 2021)
Expenses had greatly increased in comparison to the previous year (badly hit by the pandemic) – return to normal salaries, the provision of school supplies, the cost of school meals plus the overheads and overall upkeep of the school.
Two days of on-the-job training for primary and junior high school teachers were organized to boost reading in school.
Don du Choeur wanted to thank all the Ta Pen team for their exceptional commitment during Covid, so they participated in two days of cultural activities around the Preah Vihear temple.
b) Educational support for former junior high school pupils from Ta Pen
(24,734 CHF in 2022 compared to 11,359 CHF in 2021)
Senior high school and professional training students (21,140 CHF):
34 senior high school students and three students undertaking professional training in electrical engineering at NPIA (the National Polytechnic Institute of Angkor)
We pay for lodgings close to Bakong senior high school and a bursary for all our senior high school students and those undertaking professional training (NPIA, Techo SEN). This year, for the first time, two girls have started a training course in agroecology at the Bayon Agroecology School!
University students (3,594 CHF):
14 university students and a student at the Paul Dubrule hotel school.
Our students have all passed their first year exams! The majority of them are chosen and financed by our trusted partners, to whom we extend our grateful thanks for their support (Child’s Dream Foundation, Enfants du Mekong, Lotus Outreach). Don du Choeur contributes only occasionally to offer additional support to certain students.
Throughout the year, management of the project took place by very frequent video-conferences which allowed close contact for all decision-making. As of 2022, Isabelle Chatel and Michel Firmenich have restarted annual on-site visits.
On 10 March 2022, Don du Choeur signed a new Cooperation Contract, valid until 31 December 2025, with the Provincial Department of Education.
Improvements in communications have been regularly undertaken by Don du Choeur, including the updating of the website, the development of the association’s social media presence, particularly the making of video-clips, and the publication of a newsletter with the invaluable assistance of Fondation Foyer Handicap.
All Don du Choeur activities are undertaken by volunteers whose dedication and involvement permit 100% of all donations to go to the association’s projects. We would like to express our immense gratitude to them, on behalf of all the children both here and abroad.