Education et Santé
pour les enfants du monde

Financial report for the fiscal year 2020

This year the education of children around the world was seriously impacted as schools struggled to deal with repeated closures and re-openings, and moving to online teaching when possible.

Underprivileged, handicapped and illiterate children were the most affected. But what sets the Covid-19 pandemic apart from all the other crises is that it has touched children everywhere and at the same time. And the Don du Chœur association, which has been helping these vulnerable children for almost 20 years, made an even bigger effort this year.

Thanks to the support of Don du Chœur friends and benefactors, children in Mexico, Madagascar and Cambodia were able to get through the crisis in acceptable health and educational conditions.

The extraordinary support of Geneva’s private schools, numerous volunteers and local partners enabled the Don du Chœur to achieve its mission to 1,100 students.

  •  In Geneva

Our association sold face masks to help the music school in Oaxaca, expanded its presence on social networks and, because of the pandemic, had to postpone the Dictée du Choeur (dictation) scheduled in collaboration with private schools.

  •  In Mexico:

The extension works of the Santa Cecilia music school were stopped because of the health crisis, but were started up again in November. Students had classes online with their teachers and volunteer musicians from all around the world.

We are financially supporting five students for their university music studies in Mexico City.

  • In Madagascar:

We restored access to water and ensured that the Andohasatra-Betioky school canteen stayed open during the critical World Food Program shortage period.

All the teachers had one week of training. Two women’s associations were created and started craft, livestock and market gardening activities, to become financially self-sufficient.

 

  • In Cambodia:

The school reopened in September after a five-month closure during which the local team worked with little groups in the villages, and put in place the necessary means to allow secondary and high school students to follow classes online.

The first Ta Pen students completed their baccalaureate; some of them are enrolled at university.

 

  • In India:

Following an urgent request in May from our Anbumalar school, we supplied food baskets to 58 families with disabled children.

 

Numerous events marked 2020:

- In Mexico:

        • Thanks to the proceeds of our 2019 Don du Chœur concert and to the work of young choristers from private schools in Geneva, we are building an extension to a music school in Oaxaca in collaboration with the association "la Banda de Musica".
        • Unfortunately, because of the scale of the health crisis in Mexico, the school remained closed for one year. However, the construction works have slowly been progressing, with strict health measures and a reduced team of workers on site.
        • First phase of works: construction of two 64m2 rehearsal rooms and two storage rooms for string and wind instruments. Completion date scheduled for the end of May 2020. The completion of this first phase is currently in progress and the students should soon be able to develop their musical talents in much better conditions.
        • Total expenditure for this first phase: CHF 75,726, with CHF 37,771 spent in 2019 and CHF 37,955 in 2020.
        • The project of selling musical scores to help students in need with grants carried out in Geneva schools in 2019 raised CHF 7,293:
            • 14 students were able to pay their music lessons in Santa Cecilia.
            • 5 students from Santa Cecilia who were good enough to be admitted to the UNAM to continue university music studies in Mexico City will each receive a grant of CHF 1,500 to finance a year of study.
        • The health crisis could have jeopardized the music school’s future as during lockdown unemployed parents could not afford the school fees and pay for the wages of the teachers giving online lessons.
        • The idea of having face masks embroidered in Mexico gained ground and the Banda de Musica found an embroiderer and placed orders.
        • Thanks to the extraordinary involvement of Los Tacos, the Mexican grocery store in Carouge and the support of the Ecole des Nations, the sale of 440 Mexican face masks raised a total of CHF 4,402, and contributed to retaining the services of the music teachers.

 

- In Madagascar:

        • Living conditions in the south of Madagascar were extremely difficult during the pandemic and access to drinking water and food was even more crucial for the 340 students in our school.
        • We succeeded in replenishing the school with water by installing a manual pump on the well powerful enough to access the water even in the event of a drop in the groundwater table.
        • We supplied the school with food during the World Food Program shortage.
        • We once again financed a week of ongoing professional training for teachers with the help of the regional education authority. And this year, in collaboration with SOS Villages d’Enfants Betioky we also took part in training women in different activities (weaving, goat farming, and market gardening) to make them financially self-sufficient.
        • The CHF 7,100.50 expenditure can be broken down as follows:
                • Installation of a manual pump on the well: CHF 601.50
                • School canteen (one month of supplies): CHF 810
                • Teacher training and women’s associations: CHF 3,110
                • Follow-up by Toro Hay: CHF 2,579
      •  

We work hand in hand with our local partner, Toro Hay, who is in charge of monitoring the school, in coordination with Claude-Alain Burky, our on-site project manager.

 

- In Cambodia:

        • Cambodia, which is highly dependent on tourism, was severely impacted by the ongoing health crisis. Our school, like all the others in the country, was closed for 5 months, from 20 April to 7 September.
        • Therefore, in collaboration with the families, our local team implemented the necessary means so that secondary and high school students could follow distance learning courses provided by the State.
        • The teachers also provided teaching sessions in students’ houses or at the pagoda for the kindergarten or primary school pupils.
        • The first 13 high school students (former Ta Pen students), passed their baccalaureate at the end of 2020, and can now make plans for higher education.

The total cost of the project in Cambodia reached CHF 98,985 in 2020 (CHF 134,893 in 2019), broken down as follows:

        1. Running costs for primary and secondary schools (539 pupils)

(CHF 86,768 in 2020, CHF 115,987 in 2019):

A drop in running costs due to the temporary closure of the school(-25.2%), including salary adjustment, reduction in school supplies and maintenance costs but maintaining students’ medical follow-up and food distribution for the most deprived families to make up for the closure of the school canteen.

        1. Financial support for the studies of 50 young secondary schoolgraduates from Ta Pen (CHF12,216 for 50 students in 2020 and CHF 18,996 for 50 students in 2019). This decrease was caused by classes being discontinued and students going back home, with the reduction in living expenses funded by the Don du Choeur. Under normal circumstances, we pay for accommodation for students at Bakong high school and we financially support those in vocational education.

To replace our frequent work trips with the Cambodian teams, which are currently totally impossible, the follow-up has been ensured through Zoom meetings, which enable us to keep close ties with the school management for all essential decision making phases.

The renewal of our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by proxy with the Cambodian state on 23 November 2020, confirming our status as a non-governmental organization in Cambodia for the next three years.

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Communication activities were regularly carried out by the Don du Chœur ranging from updating the website to developing an online presence on social networks especially with videos and two newsletters with help from the Fondation Foyer Handicap.

 

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All the Don du Choeur activities are carried out by volunteers whose outstanding involvement enables 100% of the donations to be allocated to the projects. We would like to express our sincere thanks to them and to all the Don du Chœur friends and benefactors on behalf of all the children from near and far.

 

Don du Chœur General Assembly – 3rd May 2021 by Visioconference (due to Covid 19)

 

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