Author: TinyToones

Tiny Toones Is 10 – Party In Phnom Penh on June 30th!

On June 30th, Tiny Toones will celebrate its 10th Birthday with an explosive afternoon of creativity, dance, DJing, live graffiti and massive performers from some of Cambodia’s most exciting stars. Everyone is invited to attend this free event at Factory Phnom Penh, from 12-6. To find out more and sign up to attend, go HERE.

Performers, dancers, DJs and artists confirmed include superstar Nikki Nikki, the Tiny Toones Crew, former student turned rapper Sang Sok Serey, KlapYaHandz, 12me, Kreative Kings, Khmer Thorsue, DJ Cake, DJ Niko Yu, DJ Jay, DJ Shadow, DJ B-Roc, Kbach Crew and more special guests.

“When I first set up Tiny Toones and began offering a few street kids breakdancing lessons, my biggest hope was that one of them might make something of their lives,” said Tiny Toones founder Tuy “KK” Sobil. “I can’t believe that so many have gone on to be successful, and are going to be performing as talented adult artists on Saturday, showing off their rapping, dancing, singing and creative talents. I’m so proud, and so excited about Saturday.”

In June 2008, Tiny Toones finally moved out of founder Tuy “KK” Sobil’s cramped apartment and set up its first real centre in the community, where it began offering disadvantaged and marginalized kids education alongside the breakdancing lessons which had made it locally famous. Its aim was to turn kids away from gangs, drugs and crime, and towards education and a better future.

Ten years later, Tiny Toones has reached over 15,000 kids, and educates more than 100 a day at its centre. 80% of its students, many of whom had dropped out of school or never been, return to public school. 96% have gone on to meaningful employment, thousands have successfully stayed away from drugs and crime, and many have become celebrated rappers, dancers and artists shaping Cambodia’s creative culture.

“I don’t know what I would have done without Tiny Toones, they helped me find my talent,” said Sang Sok Serey, former Tiny Toones student, now rap star. “Tiny Toones helps kids who are hungry for education but cannot pay. They even bring them from far away, if they don’t live nearby. The kids then have space to learn what they need to. Its so good for them. And I would like to see them supported much more in the future, which I hope this event will help with.”

From Norway with love – Tiny Toones wins support of Kavli Trust

Tiny Toones is delighted to announce that it has secured a grant from Norway’s Kavli Trust which has the potential to transform its work bringing education to Cambodia’s most disadvantaged children. The year long grant will be invested in Tiny Toones’ vital infrastructure, namely its education centre and its transport services, enabling the organization to provide a safe and supportive environment for children to learn, and the means by which to transport them from some of the most deprived slum areas of Phnom Penh.

“We’re always amazed when people or organisations from so far away see our work, value it, and want to support us,” said Tuy “Kay Kay” Sobil, Tiny Toones founder. “What makes this grant so important for us is that it makes the foundations of Tiny Toones stronger. Without our centre or our transport, we can’t do anything. With them in place, we can do so much. Now the small team here can focus our energy on improving the kids’ education, giving them a better chance at escaping the poverty they and their families are trapped in.”

Indeed, the grant comes in the year when Tiny Toones marks its tenth anniversary of running a centre where kids from disadvantaged backgrounds can come to be safe, be creative and be educated. Having a centre has been crucial to Tiny Toones’ successes, but is difficult to fundraise for through traditional means – infrastructure is not typically exciting for individual donors, even though it is crucial to NGOs. That challenge is why Kavli’s support will have such an impact, freeing Tiny Toones from a funding stress that has taken huge amounts of valuable management time away from core creative and educational work.

A small portion of the grant will also be invested into Tiny Toones’ fundraising capacity, providing a path towards greater future financial sustainability. All of this means that the organisation will now be able to focus on its development into a new era of excellence, sustainability and forward-thinking.

“We are a very small NGO with a very small budget compared to others, but there is nothing small about our results,” added Sobil. “That means that Kavli’s investment will have a transformative impact on us as an organization, on our staff and most of all on our entire community of children.”

To learn more about the grant and about the wonderful Kavli Trust, please go here.

Tiny Toones named one of 7 best charities in Cambodia

Good news is rare these days, but here’s some – the Huffington Post names Tiny Toones as one of the top 7 charities doing great work in Cambodia, in a newly updated feature.

The piece recognises the fact that a very tiny number of NGOs in Cambodia have unfortunately brought others into disrepute, through dishonest practices. Tiny Toones has always believed in the importance of honesty, transparency and financial responsibility – for one thing, it’s the only way to keep the trust of your supporters in the long term.

That’s why we are so proud to be recognised by the Huffington Post as honest, ethical and effective. We love this description of our work: “Tiny Toones is a homegrown organization in Phnom Penh, the capital, that rescues kids from the streets, pulling them away from violence, gangs, and drugs and instead offering them music, breakdancing, and a solid education.”

If you want to support our ongoing work, we appreciate every single cent. You can donate or read more right here. Thanks Huffington Post, and all our supporters.

Tiny Toones in the spotlight – new in-depth documentary

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, the chance to share a fascinating in-depth documentary with you. Producer Loh Kok Hong and presenter Fadli Kamsani came to Phnom Penh, and spent a lot of time getting to know Tiny Toones. The result is this amazing piece of work we feel really captures what we are all about.

The documentary was recently fetured on Singapore TV, but we’re now releasing it in Cambodia for the first time. It features amazing dancing, behind the scenes footage, and lengthy interviews with founder KK and teacher/ dancer Slick. It’s got a lot of heart and a lot of energy, which is also the magic formula behind Tiny Toones.

You’ll see what fun the kids have at Tiny Toones, but also how happy they are to get a chance at an education, and just how profoundly that can turn their lives around. You’ll see Slick’s journey from despair to hope, but you should know that hundreds of our kids take that same journey.

We do need your support to make this happen. Every year funding is a battle for us, and 2018 is shaping up to be the same. Remember, just $10 will pay one of our teachers for a day, while $30 will pay for a child’s entire education for a month, in dance and more traditional subjects. Where else can you get value like that? If you can afford to donate, please go here – we’d be really grateful.

If you simply can’t afford to give right now, we totally understand, but do go to our Facebook and follow us so you can keep hearing our stories. In the meantime, hit play and enjoy the show.

Tiny Toones on TV!

“Meeting the students of Tiny Toones convinced me that all the hardships only make these young people better, stronger and kinder in life. Almost everyone has a compelling story to share, almost every one of them was worthy of a documentary. And the talents in these young people were just mind-blowing – our crew had a blast just filming all of them breakdancing.” Loh Kok Hong, TV producer and director.

One of the best things about being an NGO working in the creative arts is that it brings us together with other creative people from across the world. Loh Kok Hong is one of those people, responsible for a fantastic half hour documentary which recently aired on Singaporean TV, and which we’ll be showing in full on our website very soon. We’re not a big wealthy NGO able to pay for marketing or fundraising staff, so having friends like Kok Hong is crucial to helping us get the word out and raise money we urgently need.

The documentary was the first in a series about social activists around Asia. Loh Kok Hong and his presenter Fadli Kamsani came to Phnom Penh, spoke to KK about how Tiny Toones was born, and showed B Boy Slick’s extraordinary journey from homelessness and drug addiction to a career as an international performer and teacher. We spoke to Loh Kok Hong about why he filmed Tiny Toones.

“When we conceptualised the social documentary series we wanted to profile inspiring individuals using creative solutions to tackle social issues in Asia. KK and Tiny Toones easily came to mind because of the use of hip hop and breakdancing for the street children. KK was very well known in the international media so he’s always been on our radar.”

Nor did meeting the Tiny Toones crew in the flesh disappoint him. “I found KK and the young people of Tiny Toones highly inspiring. The talents, and the character strengths in these young people are compelling – they didn’t go through hardships for nothing. They are now looking at a brighter future ahead because of the confidence and strengths that they gained through the years of perfecting their breakdancing.”

Loh Kok Hong hopes that people will be inspired by watching the show. “Our series finished airing on Singapore TV Channel in January. Whoever watched it, including the channel heads, my bosses, my colleagues and my own family, have responded very well to the story. Our mission has been achieved – we succeeded in sharing with the viewers and our friends that these Cambodians are truly amazing people, and now I only hope to come back to film more!”

Thank you Loh Kok Hong, you will always be very welcome at Tiny Toones.

Please check our Facebook over the next week, when we’ll be airing some excerpts before featuring the full documentary on our website. If you wish to support our work with a donation or learn more go here.

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