I would like to thank all of our supporters who've generously and compassionately contributed to the funding of the Sala Monkey Primary School during these past two years. If you know where we've started, you now just how far we've come, but we also have a long way to go.
Honestly speaking...running a village school isn't always easy. It's often challenging, emotionally draining, and confronting the issue of poverty is a daily struggle. The rewards however supersede the challenges. In fact, we have a saying here at Sala Monkey, "We are defined by our dreams, not by our poverty" and we dare to dream BIG!
We are currently in URGENT need of funding a new location for our school. The small schoolhouse that we have rented for the past two years will no longer be available to us at the end of June and we are now in the position of trying to find a temporary or permanent location for the Sala Monkey Primary School.
Our funding goal will go towards funding the construction of our new school.
When I created the gofundme campaign, I didn't think there was any way that we could raise the funds for the land (originally priced at $32K) that we had found over a year ago when I first realized we had outgrown our little schoolhouse.
Unfortunately, we only had a few months notice that our lease would not be renewed next month (June 29th) - so the urgency to build a new school became very immediate.
We investigated immediate options and set a goal for $6,000. Honestly, I did not think that we could achieve a successful campaign to build a new school with the land alone costing $32K (asking price). So, we set a goal of $6,000 with the intent to either lease or purchase a very small piece of land and build a temporary structure.
Just as our crowdfunding campaign had successfuly concluded, we were generously given the original plot of land that we had looked at over a year ago.
The cost of the land: $28,700 and genreously donated by Jo Y.
The size of the land is 80 meters x 85 meters (1,775 sq feet) in a beautiful mountain side location with room for everything we had originally envisioned in a new school.
Multiple classrooms, library, computer room, art room, kitchen, playground, community garden, and teacher housing.
The future site of the new Sala Monkey Primary School and Learning Center.
Because the land is situated in the village adjacent to ours, we will now transport our current students to/from school via our tuk tuk (Cambodian wagon taxi).
The new village has a large number of pre-primary and primary students - many who will now be able to attend school.
Our attendance is likely to soar! We're excited to be able to expand our reach in educating the children of Kep.
We will now alocate the original $6,000 that we have raised through gofundme and apply it solely to the construction costs for building the new school. Because we have been given this wonderful gift allowing us to build a permanaent school, we must continue our fundraising efforts. This is why we have raised our goal in order to fund the cost for constructing a permanent school building versus a temporary structure.
Changes to the project...
Acquiring the land means that all of the money raised online via gofundme will now go towards the construction of the school. We have the land that we want and need, but we now have to raise more money for construction. In the long term it will save us money and we'll be able to immediately provide an education to a larger number of children in need.
Additionally, a request from our most recent sponsor who helped with the purchase of the land was that we build with brick and cement. This is different from my original plan of using earth bags but he felt the construction would be stronger and last longer.
We have reached a compromise with using brick and cement for the school and an earth friendly design for the teacher and volunteer housing (bungalows).
In order to completely fund our project and give the students the best learning environment possible, our campaign needs to be fluid. Some aspects may change a bit in order to best support the kids and the project.
Original campaign details below...
How do we receive support?
It's been through the generosity of friends, family, colleagues and strangers that we've been able to lease, renovate and run our little village school for the past two years now. We've also been fortunate in receiving a tuk tuk (Cambodian open air taxi) that we use for transporting our students and we will soon utilize the tuk tuk for our own social enterprise selling food. Just like any new business though, it will likely take 3-6 months in order for us to generate enough income to make a significant impact for self sustainable funding.
What We Do
Sala Monkey is a non-profit school and is absolutely free for all students. We offer free formal English education to 45+ students in a wide variety of subjects and our lessons are based on the UK National Primary curriculum.
Our students attend a half day session at Sala Monkey and the other half of the day is spent at Cambodian state school. We support both English and Khmer language learning.
Our most urgent need is to fund a new home for our school. Allowing our students to continue receiving a quality education.
Why Do We Need Help With Funding?
We are often overwhelmed with the cost of supporting the childrens overall basic needs and we do not have the financial resources to build a new school without the generosity of sponsors.
Our current expenses that we cover...
Teacher's salaries, school supplies, tutoring, meals, medical care, clothing needs, transportation, purchasing rice for our student's families, occasional field trips, school equipment, emergency funds, and much more.
We help to provide not only for the education but also for the basic needs of the child. It's very difficult to thrive in education when you do not have electricity or a table to do your homework or a bed to sleep in at night or clean water, a bathroom or basic medical care to stay healthy.
Living well below the poverty line, our student's families are often confronted with the difficult decision to pull the children out of school in order to find employment to help financially support the family or to provide childcare for younger siblings. When confronted with this situation, we often provide emergency conditional support for the family in order to keep the children in school.
Thank you for your support and helping us to continue educating the children of Kep in the Ohm Phnom Toach village and now the addition of the Domnak Chhung Ouh (village).
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