COVID19 Response

This page documents our deployment strategy during the extraordinary times and challenges brought about by the Covid pandemic. A repository of all the ways we adapted our work to keep students physically well, and as engaged with learning as much as possible during the school closures in Cambodia – which lasted nearly a full two years from March 2020 until January 2022.

School is the Answer has always been our motto and it’s something we believe at our very core. But, during those unprecedented times, Food is the Answer had to take priority – because for a good number of our students, if there was no food, there could be no school.

Whilst providing food parcels to more than 800 of the most vulnerable students every 10 days, we were also hyper-focused on finding solutions for all our students to access some sort of classes. The vast majority were living in situations that did not allow them to participate in the education plan put forth by the government. In finding solutions to this massive challenge we learned all kinds of things along the way. We quickly delivered an eLearning progam that was already at development stage in early 2020. We could not have done this without assistance from our awesome uni student volunteers, who having also returned to their villages stepped in to mentorship roles for their younger peers. We took our tertiary workshops online, building on these new ways of communicating with our students, bringing them closer to us and to each other. 

We prioritised the care of our field staff during this time, who put themselves out there to deliver goods and solidarity to the most forgotten part of the population. We have always been proud of our team, but the way they rose to the many challenges and pivots required took that pride to a whole new level.  

And throughout, we heard from many of you, both in words and deeds. We felt empowered to be bold in our movements while keeping our hearts clear: acting on your behalf and doing what was ours to do.

Thank you for always having our backs. 

We have emerged from the Covid era stronger than ever, with all these silver linings under our belt

The Post-COVID Lowdown

We all know what a disastrous effect Covid had globally - in terms of public health, but on so many other areas of life too. In Cambodia, devastation rampaged across the economy, education system, and the population’s psychological well-being.  Now, we certainly don’t...

Casting the Net Farther and Wider

While many countries spent 2020 in and out of lockdowns and are now broadly free of restrictions, Cambodia’s COVID journey has been almost the polar opposite. For much of last year, we still had freedom of movement, affording a degree of normalcy to daily life and...

Workshops Shift Gears

PLF has always been intent on delivering a multitude of workshops to all our students, especially the older ones. There are so many things to know: how to navigate education, how to set goals, how to connect degrees to meaningful employment, how to understand our...

JUST IN- April Covid-19 Update

One month ago schools closed again as COVID at long last got its grips on Cambodia. As we predicted at the time, the road has been a bit rough. Phnom Penh has become overwhelmed with cases,  mostly stemming from factories and several local markets. As it sweeps...

Libraries Get Technical

Like the rest of the world, PLF has always had a big focus on bringing STEAM (STEM + ART) courses and activities to students, beginning in primary school.  We do this for the same reasons the rest of the world does it: immersing students into STEAM activities teaches...

COVID Finally Arrives in Earnest

One year after the pandemic began, Cambodia is seeing enough community spread to start overwhelming resources. We are predicting a rough road ahead. There was an event that is now called the February 20th Incident which paralyzed Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and the...

eLearning: The Road Ahead

This year has been a challenge on many levels but there have been silver linings, and most of them are shining out of the tech quarter.  We’re excited to further explore everything we’ve learned this year about digital delivery of coursework. It’s been a game-changer...

Opening Day without School

In years without global pandemics, the new school year starts in Cambodia on November 1st. For PLF that means opening day celebrations and school supply distributions at 6 different schools - it’s one of the most exhausting and most exciting weeks of our year. This...

Breakfast is on the Table

Sometimes you do things and they just WORK. Over the last 6 months that schools have been closed, we've been dropping food parcels to more than 700 students every three weeks. The drops happen at our most rural schools where children suffer from an unacceptable level...

Cambodia in the Time of COVID19 Part II

What’s happening in Cambodia’s Education System and How PLF is Responding In Mid-March when schools closed,  over 100 PLF University students fled from Phnom Penh and returned to their villages. Timing was horrible as it was right at the end of the first half; many of...

Libraries in the Time of COVID

With updated hygiene rules to keep our students and librarians safe, we've been thrilled to keep our libraries open during this time. For many students, the libraries have been a lifeline to keeping them engaged with learning since their study hours have been so...

Cambodia in the Time of COVID

We’ve always considered ourselves to be pretty light on our feet; flexible, ready to dodge to the left or right however necessary to meet most every challenge. Then came COVID and the wrecking of education and then of the economy.  It’s been a bit relentless.  And...

Food Security- 153,000 bowls a year

Food is one of the most basic needs that every human must meet. For many of the students in rural Cambodia, a country where 32% of children are malnourished, that need is instead only a daily hope: hope that the harvest will be good that year, hope that their parent...

PLF University Students Enlist in the Army of Love

PLF has always considered itself an "Army of Love" because we believe that anytime people band together around a common cause and arm themselves only with love, everything is possible. The students who have returned to their home villages are mobilizing into teams and...

University Closures and University Students

When school closures happened across Cambodia in Mid March, PLF had 50 students at University in Phnom Penh, scattered across various Universities all over the city. Because of an existing structure of having Uni Teams and contact persons in each team, it was fairly...

UPDATE ON COVID19 STRATEGY April 1, 2020

Greetings PLF FamilyWe thought we’d take a breath and send an update on what has been going on here in Cambodia since we last posted. UNIVERSITY STUDENTS PLF has 53 enrolled at University in Phnom Penh and another 29 in Siem Reap. Of these, 14 have decided to remain...

Covid-19 Strategy

Dear PLF Family We hope this message finds you well.  The safety of children, of communities, team members, volunteers and supporters is very important to us. While COVID19 continues to impact us all, we wanted to take a moment and share how we are facing the current...

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