Australian Schoolchildren support "Day Without Speech"

Australian Schoolchildren support "Day Without Speech"

Former Murray Farm student reunites with teacher to raise money for kids in Cambodia

September  2017

In a serendipitous twist-of-fate, former Murray Farm School student Weh Yeoh reunited with his year six teacher to get a boost in his awareness and fundraising efforts for OIC Cambodia—the speech therapy organization he founded in 2013.


Yeoh founded OIC Cambodia when he saw the lack of speech therapy services for children in Cambodia with communication and swallowing difficulties. Since its inception, OIC has been working to raise awareness and funds with the aim of making speech therapy available to all children in Cambodia.


As part of its recent fundraising efforts, OIC planned Day Without Speech—a campaign designed to raise awareness and funds for children in Cambodia with communication and swallowing difficulties. The campaign took place on August 23, 2017, and asked for the public’s support to raise awareness of children affected by communication disabilities by giving up speech for the day.


When looking for potential support for OIC’s campaign, Yeoh reached out to his former school—Murray Farm. To his surprise, he was put in contact with his year six teacher, Sharon Williams (nee Thomson), who was now the deputy principal of the school.


Sharon was hugely supportive of OIC’s work and jumped at the chance to get her school involved in Day Without Speech. In support of the campaign, 1,000 Murray Farm students gave up their voices on August 23 and raised $1,0785.75 for OIC Cambodia.


“It was serendipitous that Sharon was the one to answer my call, and I’m just so grateful that the kids and staff at Murray Farm supported Day Without Speech,” said Yeoh.


Weh Yeoh talks at "Day Without Speech"
Weh addresses an audience of 500 students at Murray Farm Public School.


In addition to Murray Farm School, in July Campsie Public School in Sydney and Oak Park Primary School in Melbourne also went silent for the second time to participate in Day Without Speech. Both schools raised a combined $4,090.


Day Without Speech is a fantastic opportunity for me to engage authentically with my students. It allows me the opportunity to teach them that combining knowledge with compassion results in action,” says one of the teachers who participated in the campaign.


OIC would like to thank students and their families for their invaluable support of Day Without Speech. Special thanks go to the following volunteer organisers who recently helped us during the school events: Kira Rodionov, at Murray Farm; Katia Ringbauer at Campsie; and Sally Morath at Oak Park.


More Info:

Meeting Roger taught Weh the value of difference, and put him on a pathway to start OIC Cambodia, an organisation working to bring speech therapy to Cambodia. Read Roger’s story.

Over 100 children have already benefitted from speech therapy through OIC Cambodia, and are currently excelling in their studies. Read Lin’s story.

In 2016, OIC trained 180 primary public school teachers, three government officials, and over 22 NGO workers on including students with communication difficulties in the classroom. Read OIC’s 2016 Annual Report.