This is the second year we are helping children in a village in Cambodia begin their education even though they do not have a school. To see how we did in the first year, see the update from January 2019.
Here’s the situation:
The village of Thom Chas, like many others in rural Cambodia, does not have a primary school. Some of the village’s kids travel a long way to another village where there is a school, but the roads are rough (cars cannot get there during much of the year) and the poverty in the village makes it hard for families to send children, so 46 kids who should be in school do not go to school at all. This is an unfortunately common situation in much of rural Cambodia – despite strong economic development in the last decade, not much has trickled down to the poorest rural villages.
A caring person in the village has created a free literacy class for the 46 children, so they will learn to read and write. It is a start towards a solution. They have asked for some help in obtaining very basic supplies – books, pens and pencils, school bags, uniforms, as well as some health-related supplies, such as soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The cost per student of the supplies they are requesting is $40, which to many of us is not much; but to a poor Cambodian who may live on only a few dollars a day, it is out of reach.
Of course, what they really need is a real school. The government is slow to provide schools where needed in rural Cambodia, and that may be a future project to work on. But for now, this is a start toward a solution. At least these children can learn to read and write so that eventually when they can go to school they will not have been left so far behind.
I have traveled with groups of students from the U.S. to Cambodia to work with a variety of schools for poor children for more than 10 years. The kids I have met are eager to learn almost without exception – once you give them the means to do so there’s no stopping them. Won’t you help sponsor one or two of these kids to get started?