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New video captures raw energy of Cambodian hip hop

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We still occasionally get comments about whether hip hop and Cambodia really go together, or encounter a bit of cynicism about whether Khmer kids can really be b boys and b girls with the best of them. Well, from now on, we have this video to show to any doubters.

We’re very grateful to Oyen Rodriguez for giving up his time and amazing skills to make this short and thrilling film for us. A Filipino film maker and hip hop fan from the Philippines, Oyen does great work in Cambodia – so we were really delighted when he suggested making a film with us, and even more delighted with the results.

Anyway, enough talk, time for some action – watch this video now!

Celebrating the Tiny Toones teachers

“I was hopeless and lonely, addicted to drugs”. That’s how Slick describes himself at 15 years old. Today he is one of Tiny Toones’ most inspiring teachers – and deserves a huge shout out today for World Teachers Day. As Shhort, TT manager, says: “I look at Slick and I see a lost kid grown up to be a productive role model for his community.”

World Teachers Day is held on 5th October every year to celebrate teachers from across the world. We are very proud of each of our teachers, most of whom used to be our students. That means that they have experienced the same pressures and poverty as the children who come to our centre every day, and are perfectly placed to understand them and inspire them.

Slick is a perfect example. One of 8 siblings, family poverty forced Slick out of school and onto the streets collecting garbage when he was a little boy. Soon he was homeless and fell into the despair of drugs. Luckily for him and Tiny Toones, he soon met our founder KK and showed huge academic and dance potential. Many years later, he not only performs as a dancer across Cambodia and the world, but still teaches daily at our centre.

“He uses his personal experiences to help kids like him,” says Shhort. As well as a teacher, Slick is also an active mentor to many of our children, able to support them when they are facing difficulties and feel drawn back to life on the streets.

“For me, good teaching is about listening, motivating and always being ready with a helping hand,” says Slick, explaining his approach to teaching. “I love it because I get to learn too.” He inspires his students every day- we hope his story might inspire you a little today.

Tiny Toones 2016 Annual Report

2016 was another huge year for us here at Tiny Toones. As well as continuing to support our kids at our Chbar Ampov centre, 2016 saw the launch of the Cool Lounge.

You can read all about it along with all our other news in our Annual Report 2016.

Tiny Toones Video by Optical Films

Tiny Toones were visited in 2016 by Optical Films from Singapore who produced this video about our work on behalf of the Singapore Management University.

New Year, New Website & New Direction!

Welcome to our new website!

It’s been a while since we’ve updated you on what’s going on here at Tiny Toones but we’re still working as hard as ever in our Chbar Ampov centre. We currently have over 100 kids attending daily and with the help of their inspirational teachers, they’re continuing to develop their dancing and academic skills whilst most importantly, still having fun doing it.

We’re also proud to say that we continue to help our kids through our scholarship program. This has enabled us to support them in accessing the public school system, some of them for the first time, and they’re now working hard towards a brighter future.

These are exciting times for us as July 2016 saw the opening of our new social enterprise, The Cool Lounge in the Russian Market area of Phnom Penh. This is a food and drinks venue staffed by former Tiny Toones students and includes recording and dance studios on the first floor.  Tiny Toones would like to say a big thank you to the Global Fund for Children, without their funding and support we wouldn’t have been able to make The Cool Lounge a reality.

Soon we will be launching hip-hop dance classes for the general public here so keep your eyes on the website for more information. Profits from The Cool Lounge will help to sustain our work here at Tiny Toones. If you’re in town we’d love it if you come down to see us, check out our Facebook page for more information.

We continue to be humbled by the support we receive from around the world.  We were recently contacted by Alex Ciuro, a student from the UK who has been inspired by the work we are doing at Tiny Toones.  Alex took part in the Siem Riep half marathon on December 4th and is donating all of his sponsorship money to Tiny Toones.  Once he’s had a well-earned rest, Alex will update us all here on how he got on.

As ever, we’d like to thank you all for your continued support of the work that we do at Tiny Toones, we couldn’t do it without you.

We would also like to give special thanks to Stephane Ellis, our talented web designer from Vendelis who volunteered his time to help build the website. We couldn’t have done it without him.

Please take some time to look around the site and if you have any feedback, do let us know.

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