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Reality, Hope & Results

THE REALITY:

Kauk Samrong SchoolKauk Samrong School

Kauk Samrong School in Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia is positioned very close to the Thai border. Due to abject poverty, many of the parents in the village migrate to Thailand to work as labourers or on construction sites, and often they take their children with them instead of sending them to school.

The principal Mr Yau Doun loves his school and dreams of a brighter future for his students: “I’ve taught here since 1995. There is a secondary school 4.5 km away but only about 20% of the students continue on to secondary school,” he said. “Our school building and teacher’s office are falling apart and parents worry that the roof will collapse, so they don’t want to send their kids here. Our water pump is broken and our toilet block is very old. Everyone in our community has to drink dirty water from the pond or river.*

“We’ve been praying for a new school for years. The head of our school support committee is also the village chief and whenever Samaritan’s Purse has invited us to attend meetings about teacher training, he always makes sure he can be there. The information provided is so valuable to us. ‘We need a safe place for our students to learn, and a safe place to keep our resources and materials because they get wet or blow away when wind and rain comes into the building. ‘When we have a new school building, I will be able to get computer tablets! [These are provided by Samaritan’s Purse to upskill the teachers and students in numeracy and literacy.] ‘I love teaching the kids; I want to give whatever I can to the students, to help them grow up with knowledge. I have a dream for a strong, safe building for them.”

Noy

Noy

Noy is an 11-year-old boy in Year 5 at Kauk Samrong School. He lives with one of his uncles because his mother, father and three siblings all work in Thailand and can only visit him once or twice a year. “I like my school and I like coming to study, but I would love to have a good school, a new school. I can’t imagine what it would look like—I’ve never seen a really good one—maybe it would be made of bricks and cement. ‘I don’t like to miss school; I want to study because I’m poor. I only have one school shirt and it’s very dirty and I had one pair of shoes, but my brother took them to Thailand so now I don’t have any. I need to learn how to read and write so I can get a good job and don’t have to be a labourer in Thailand.” *When Samaritan’s Purse builds a school, we also provide clean water sources, latrines and hygiene training.

 

 

THE HOPE:

Srah Trach SchoolSrah Trach Primary School

Srah Trach Primary School in Cambodia was a wooden building located in a valley on the school property. Every year, the school would be flooded for two months and was unusable, and when it was windy the kids were afraid the building would fall down.

For almost ten years, the staff tried to find people to support them to build a new school. When their request was approved by Samaritan’s Purse the principal said, “I cannot express how happy I am!” In response, the school support committee raised funds to raise the ground level of the school to protect it from flooding. Samaritan’s Purse built a school with six classrooms, a flagpole, a playground, a latrine block, and a water tank so the kids can access safe drinking water at school. The school committee has become actively involved and will continue to be so after Samaritan’s Purse leaves. They’ve taken the initiative to plant trees for shade and a big vegetable garden, and have many plans for the future of the school.

Mr Phann Sarom, the principal at Srah Trach, beamed as he said, “Before, many students would drop out or not come to school because the building was falling apart; there was no playground and the teachers were untrained. Parents tried to send their kids elsewhere if they could afford it. But this year, the number of students has increased. All the kids are staying in school!” Samaritan’s Purse has also upskilled teachers, provided teaching toolkits with new resources, and literacy software on tablets to help students learn to read. “Our teachers don’t just write on the board anymore,” Phann Sarom said. “We have toolkits with games that make the lessons more engaging. These are some of the first resources we’ve ever been given. The teachers find the lessons easier to teach, the kids enjoy the classes more and are actively involved.” One of those students is Phy Pha, a six-year-old girl in Year 1 at Srah Trach. She said, “I love my teacher and the new materials. I want to learn and have knowledge so I can become a doctor!”

 

THE RESULTS:

Bos Thom Student2Kosal Raksa using her new school resources

At Bos Thom Primary School, Kosal Raksa is a 12-year-old girl in Year 5. She has three younger brothers and sisters who are also studying at Bos Thom, and as the oldest in her family she works hard to help her mother and care for her siblings. Despite being such a busy child, she is diligent with her studies, both at school and at home. Her teacher, Mr Moa Bunthan said, “Raksa always spends her time helping friends with homework and regularly reminds them to study hard. She is so different from before. Previously she never wanted to read books, but since Samaritan’s Purse has introduced the tablets with reading apps, Raksa became very interested in learning. Now she loves reading the books Samaritan’s Purse provided in the library too!”

After Samaritan’s Purse built new school buildings and trialled literacy programs in three rural Cambodian schools, the literacy rate went from 14% to 67% on average after only six months. Raksa said, “Now I get very good marks for my homework because I have a good mother who always helps me learn through the learning apps at home, which we have installed on my father’s smartphone. I would love to be a teacher at Bos Thom when I grow up, to help future generations like I was helped.”

 

TESTIMONIES:

Narong

Narong

Narong, a 13-year-old boy in Year 2 at Bos Thom Primary School – “I love my school; we have a new building and I’m happy coming to study because now I can read. I was enrolled in a school in my village but I couldn’t read. I didn’t learn anything at all, so my parents moved me to this school two years ago and I started again in Year 1, which is why I’m old for my year. Now I can read and I’m second in my class! I want to be a doctor, I can see a lot of people here are sick and I want to help them.”

 

 

Srey Ten

Srey Ten

 

 

Srey Ten, a nine-year-old girl in Year 2 at Poay Angkor Primary School – “My parents migrated to Thailand when I was a baby; I haven’t seen them in years. My younger brother and I live with our grandparents now, and they always encourage us to go to school. I used to not want to go but now it’s very different since Samaritan’s Purse came. Before, there was no nice school building or fun [literacy and numeracy] games to play in class. I love school now! I want to go all the way to Year 12 and then attend university and become a teacher.”

 

GET INVOLVED:

The needs are huge but it is so easy to change children’s lives forever by simply providing access to a quality education. Not only do we have education programs in Cambodia; we also currently
have projects running in Vanuatu and Fiji. By the end of 2016, we hope to have built 16 new schools and kindergartens in these three countries.

Will you partner with us to make these schools a reality, provide children with new hope, and an opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty?

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Kids in CambodiaStudents in Cambodia