Visiting our primary school project in April filled us with positive energy and further motivation to continue our work in Cambodia. It was such a joy to meet the happy children, teachers, headmaster and the commune leader. The community is very grateful for our support and come across as being highly motivated and committed to follow up and contribute in our joint effort.
Save the Children Cambodia have also recently visited the school, and the conclusion from their evaluation is that this is a unique project! They are impressed with how well the teachers, school director and local community are integrated in the project, and not least, the level of local ownership.
We are proud to be able to share some highlights from the report by Save the Children:
Norway House has supported the school over the last 2 years, with Childs Right Foundation (CRF) as implementation partner. Budget and technical support have been provided to a number of projects, in close collaboration with the local community.
There are currently 580 children enrolled in the school, from kindergarten to grade 6. The school consists of 3 buildings with 15 classrooms. The environment is warm and friendly and the children look happy to be attending school. The teachers seem pleased with their work environment. A new teacher has recently been hired; a good sign, as attracting teachers in rural Cambodia can be a problem.
A number of educational projects have also been identified and implemented to increase capacity of the children, teachers, headmaster, parents and other community stakeholders.
Mr. Tes Sokchan, School Master, highlights how school structure has been strengthened.
CRF invited expert teachers from the MoEYS to train and improve the school system based on child friendly policies. A number of council groups have been established, supporting the identified areas of the school development:
Some of the partners and stakeholders share their experiences with their involvement and achievements of the education projects implementation:
Mr. Mey Savath, Chef of Education Department of Kandal province. Savath said “We participated to create the children councils in school, as well as to create the child club in communities. MoEYS approved to provide two teachers to work in school’s library. In the library, one of the teachers works in the morning and one of them works in the afternoon. Therefore our library keeps open in the whole day. “
Mr. Chhim Morn, Commune Leader. Morn tells how his community got involved in early stage to establish the school plan. As part of this the communities agreed to share 5 USD per month for water and electricity cost. Additionally community contributed 100USD to build the garden of school. The communities also participated in creating the child clubs, whose role is to follow up and educate communities about the children’s education situation.
Ms. Long Mary, Commune Council member, is actively involved in supporting the out of school youths as well as in improving the economic situation of the people in commune. She says “we collaborated with school and MoEYS to provide small business training to trainee whose age from 16-40 years old. Our commune leader is the chef of these small business projects. We use the rooms in this school to conduct small income generation training of hair dressing, makeup and cloth preparing for the wedding”.
Mr. Soun Rathana, teacher, responded to the question of what would make the school and community committed to achieve their development goal? “With the support from CRF we learn about the need of children. We follow the set up structures to manage project activities among partners. In school there is the children council; Children councils are playing their role to strengthen the school system and other activities such as, school maintenance, hygiene, doing peer education in encourage their friends to visit the library and giving feedback to teaching activities of the teachers. “
Thanks to the support of CRF and the local community, it seems we are well underway towards our goal of improving the quality of education, by promoting a safe, healthy and children friendly learning environment.
We are deeply grateful for your support that allows us to continue this work! We firmly believe in giving a 'Handshake not Handout' - empowering people to solve their own problems, rather than doing it for them or subsidizing them financially.
Norway House team members regularly update this blog with relevant information.