There has been lots happening at Opportunity Cambodia’s Education Centre over the last few months.
It is the wet season so our vegetable garden is thriving and our local farmers are ploughing and planting rice.
Our now not so new General Manager has settled in and is doing a great job.
We have begun our scholarship program to support girls so that they can continue their education into secondary school. This is a fantastic initiative and we plan to expand it. So many girls drop out of school at the end of primary school because families have neither the money for, or the commitment to girls’ education. While in SR recently an article on the front page of the English language newspaper mentioned the UN Human Development Report’s finding that the education index for females in Cambodia lags far behind other ASEAN countries, and Cambodia has a very low ranking in the development index over all.
We are well underway with our English language teaching program. It has been such a battle to find a really good teacher who is prepared to stay out in the countryside for part of each week. The children are loving the classes and I am sure they will move ahead quickly. We are keeping our Centre open during the two month school holiday period so we can continue the English classes and virtually all the children have signed up for the extra classes which is remarkable.
Very exciting – we now have computers and the children have started classes. Once again we are trying to supplement in critical areas the extremely poor teaching that is found in so many rural schools. Unfortunately we cant get the internet in our rural village but the children are at least learning basic computing skills.
We are moving ahead with our vocational exposure program for the older children. Nine of our girls attended a vocational workshop at one of the universities in Siem Reap which really helped open their eyes to the career opportunities that are available in the city.
On International Children’s Day we organised a special celebration at our Centre, inviting children and their families, school teachers, local community leaders, representatives of relevant government departments, and guest speakers. Our children provided entertainment – beautiful traditional dancing and singing – and everyone had a really wonderful time. It is the first time that such a celebration has taken place in our Commune and the Commune Chief was very proud that it was taking place in his Commune!
Our thanks to all our wonderful donors and supporters whose generosity is enabling us to continue to expand existing programs and to commence new initiatives.
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