Mrs Lyn Hotchin (Johnson ’61) is the founder in 2009 of the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) known as Singing Kites (www.singingkites.org), a school in the rural village of Tanop in Takeo province, south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She started the school after a chance meeting with Tanop man Tith Tek, who had a passion for education and was working as a moto driver in Phnom Penh while trying to put himself through school. At Tith Tek's invitation, Lyn and her daughter visited Tanop and talked with the elders who emphasised the importance of education and how it can change lives, leading to hope of a better future and improved health. Lyn raised funds back in her home town of Toowoomba and built the village’s first school. Today there are nearly 2000 students from 33 villages, nine classrooms, 23 staff, a library, office, art centre, kitchen, Early Learning Centre, staff room, two toilet blocks, a dental clinic, computer centre and three cottages for volunteers. It is a Community Education Centre built and staffed by the villagers and sustained totally by generous benefactors and donations from Australia. The experience of developing the Singing Kites project has taught Lyn many things. ‘The best way to find out about yourself is to give freely of yourself to others. It is what makes life meaningful.’ These sentiments reflect some of the values Lyn acquired while at Ruyton. She credits the School with encouraging and supporting her in her early days.
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