We have been volunteering at the Advanced Centre for Empowerment (ACE) ,which was previously known as the Attitude Centre for Education, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for more than a month now. ACE is an NGO which works towards bettering the lives of disadvantaged youths in Cambodia, teaching them English, Khmer, health and hygiene and much more.
Over the course of our time volunteering in Phnom Penh, we have learnt the significance of speaking English in Cambodia. Those who can speak English in Cambodia are able to secure higher wages, yet state schools only teach English to those in their last years of secondary school. The existence of English lessons has proven to have an unimaginable ripple effect on communities and their children’s futures.
After a visit to one of their centres in Kandal province two hours outside Phnom Penh, all four of us were left in shock. Two hundred children have to share one teacher and one classroom. Each session contains at least 40 students. Their only teacher, Phai Er Vuthy, conducts five back to back classes throughout the day.
ACE has just secured a second classroom in Po Meav Primary School, and desperately need funds to renovate it.
The roof has several holes in it, the tables are all broken and splintered and there is no electricity. Furthermore, the walls are covered in dirt and the board is torn. Seeing this place brought up simultaneous feelings of hope and sadness; this room has so much potential to become a beacon for education, yet the current reality is bleak and intimidating.
Seeing the incredible potential of this room has led to our decision to fundraise for several developments in the Kandal Community Centre. We are aiming to raise £2450 ($3400USD/¥360,199) for all of the renovations, as well as for a permanent second teacher in order to reduce Phai Er Vuthy‘s heavy workload.
Having just come out of classroom environments ourselves, the importance of access to a safe and welcoming place in which to learn is extremely apparent to us. Smaller class sizes are crucial to maintaining motivation and maximising educational impact on students. With another full-time teacher and another classroom, class sizes would decrease from 40 to 20, allowing each teacher to devote more attention and care to individual students.
What your donations will go toward:
- Salary for English Teacher for one year
- Utilities for one year
- Stationary for all student for one year
- Fixing Tables
- Fixing Roof
- Replacing White Board
- Water Storage Jar
- Fixing Window
- 3 new wall fans
- Wiring for electricty
How we know the beneficiary (Advanced Centre for Empowerment):
Vedika Modi found out about ACE through the gap year program at UWCSEA (her high school). She has been volunteering at ACE since February 2018.
Benjamin Chuah discovered ACE from a contact who previously worked at the Global Fund for Children (https:// globalfundforchildren.org), who are donors for the Advanced Centre for Empowerment. Benjamin later told Charles Gee (his friend from the UK) about the organisation. Both of them have been volunteering at ACE since January 2018.
Hiroki Tominaga applied to volunteer at ACE through AIESEC - an organisation which he has been a member of since May 2017. He has been volunteering at ACE since Febuary 2018.
All four of us are volunteers. We have been working closely with Mr. Chean Toing Ain, the new Managing Director of the Advanced Centre for Empowerment.
How we will send the funds to ACE:
Even though in reality the Advanced Centre for Empowerment is our beneficiary, Cambodia is not on GoFundMe's supported country list, which means we can not add them as an official beneficiary on this website. This means that we will have to personally receive the money in GBP and then transfer it to the account of the Advanced Centre for Empowerment (legally known as the Attitude Centre for Education - whilst ACE has changed their name to the Advanced Centre for Empowerment for day to day use, they retain the name Attitude Centre for Education for all legal documents, accounts and bank transactions).
All the donations will be withdrawn by Benjamin Chuah, who is returning to the UK on March the 8th. In the following days, he will withdraw the funds to his own account and deliver the funds to ACE's bank account via bank transfer.
All donations will be sent to the Advanced Centre for Empowerment and used for the repair and maintainance of the classroom and teacher. Any extra money raised will be go to supporting utilities, stationary and a teacher for the years to come. Because GoFundMe does not support donation withdrawals in Cambodia we will personally forward all the fund to ACE's account through wire transfer.
Thank you for listening to us! Every single penny you are able to donate will help a great amount, and we hope you will help us to build a brighter future for these children.
Ben, Charlie, Tomi and Vedika.
(We will be posting updates in the months to come)
- Nazia Rahman
- Atazhan Ushkempirov
- Emma Thompson
- Kathryn Biddle
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