Patti Lee - Bridge Presentations and Cambodia/Laos Fundraisers

Interested in Bridge Lessons? Contact Patti Lee for more information.

About Patti Lee

8 South Kingslea Drive, Toronto, ON M8Y 2A3 Canada    E:

Patti has taught bridge to thousands of students of all ages. She is currently teaching at Country Clubs in Toronto and onboard cruise ships around the world.

A Bit of History...

Banyan Tree Organization Schools Brochure

In 2011, Patti Lee, Barbara Seagram and a group of 50, docked in Phnom Penh. We were armed with clothing, pens, notebooks, rulers, sharpeners, toys, pencils, stickers, and other school supplies. We had heard about an Ontario volunteer, who had dedicated the last few years to working in Cambodia for several months per year. Working alongside her was a fabulous lady, Australian Pauline Johns. Pauline has lived in Cambodia for up to 6 months per year and heads up the Cambodian organization 'Banyan Tree Organization', which manages all of our projects in Cambodia. Pauline volunteers all of her time and pays for all of her travel and living expenses.

In 2011, our group and other friends from the Toronto area donated 40 bicycles to a school outside of Phnom Penh. We went there in a small tuk-tuk along the dusty roads through Phnom Penh and out into the countryside to find that the school was a one-room shack with a cement floor and no desks or chairs. The bikes were given to children, mainly children of landmine victims. It was all very uplifting but Patti and Barbara looked at each other and wondered how long this shack would remain standing.

We inquired how much it would cost to build a permanent school and found that it would cost $24,000.00. We returned to Toronto determined to build a school. We raised $40,000.00 that year, so we also furnished two other schools and built a library at one of the schools. We now have four schools with over 500 students. We remain committed to sustaining all four of our schools at a cost of $52,000 CAD per year. This pays for the salaries of the teachers and librarians, all of the supplies for the teachers and students, lease payments, electricity, maintenance etc. You can see that money goes a long way in this country.

Over the years, many outreach programs have been undertaken to help these landmine affected families to become self-sufficient: a bike repair business, chicken farmer training, sewing lessons with a sewing machine, crafts, a technology centre, and a weaving centre.

There are many that do not have a safe, private toilet. The absence of a safe, private toilet leads to serious health issues, as well as sexual abuse of women and girls. Our schools all have toilets, thus ensuring that the girls can attend school even during their menstrual period. Without toilets at the schools, the girls would miss 4-5 days per month. After a number of months, they fall so far behind in their studies that they quit school altogether.

Canadian Kindness Felt in Faraway Cambodia - 2014 ACBL Bridge Bulletin

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