Supplies, uniforms, shoes and backpacks all began arriving 3 weeks ago. Everything we need to equip 2,000+ children this year for school.

Boxes of supplies arrived by truck and tuk-tuk to be loaded into the Guest House. They are occupying the entire ground floor of the guest house. Some paying customers came in yesterday requesting a ground floor room and we had to turn them away!

The first step is calculating how many children we have in each grade, from Kindergarten to 9th grade. Each grade has a different supply list. First graders get little chalkboards, 5th graders get compasses, etc. So we being by bundling together the supplies and stacking them up in piles by grade.

Supplies stacked in the guest house.

The next step is organizing the uniforms, which are packaged from the factory with a number. That number has to be matched to the master list (made by the teachers at the school) and the child’s name written on the package, then the list is again checked to get the correct shoe size. The shoes are then added to the uniform package and the child’s grade written near the name.

Now the uniform bundle is married to the correct supply bundle and the whole thing put into a backpack and then into a plastic bag for protection. That finished bundle gets sorted by school and grade and then boxed up and labeled.

Ponheary Ly bundling school supplies.

All of this work is done in a non-airconditioned room swarming with mosquitos. We sit on the concrete floor for hours on end making these bundles of joy. Everyone who works on the project does so from the goodness in their heart.

No one complains. It’s the happiest work any of us have ever done.

We will have opening day at each of the 5 schools starting on September 30th. It will be close but we’ll be ready.