Pathways to Education
Preah Vihear is one of Cambodia’s poorest provinces. We work in the remotest villages, where the majority of the community is living in poverty and where most of the adults have lost the value of education through decades of war. Additionally, these schools are in proximity to Temples, where the allure of sending children to sell trinkets to tourists is greater than sending them to a poorly managed school lacking in resources. In these areas where there is no push to go to school, our efforts are focused on creating a pull.
We work with existing public schools rather than building our own private programs, since there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when there are already schools in place that are hungry for training and resources. We believe that in order to create true sustainability, we need to focus not only on the students but the actual schools as well – working with teachers, administrators and village leaders to build capacity for the school to eventually run on its own. This comes hand in hand with fostering the dedication of the community to support those efforts.
- Students receive a filling breakfast every day to ensure they can concentrate on the lessons ahead, as well as once monthly lunches
- Clean water & sanitation
- Hygiene and first aid-school nurse
- Uniforms, school supplies and a backpack are provided at the start of each year
- Bicycles provided to students as needed
- Children’s Lending Libraries, to encourage an early love of reading
- Teacher & School Administration Support
- Solar Power & Facilities budgets
- Workshops on a range of subjects from nutrition to hygiene to environment – supporting kids’ understanding of how to look after themselves and the world around them.
The next stop on the pathway is high school – of which there are none in the forest. As our first students graduated Grade 6, we had to find a way to accompany them beyond the primary school gates and bring them to the district seat of Srayang – 15km away. Students who can pass the entrance exam attend both Srayang Secondary School for the national curriculum, and our Learning Center right next door, where they receive a filling lunch and extracurricular activities to bolster their government classes. Given the opportunity to move through middle and high school grades, students begin to think about their next destination: university, vocational training, or employment.
- Transport to and from the villages 6 days per week via our school trucks
- Lunch every day
- Extracurricular classes & activities – English, Math, Library & Study Hall, Chess Club
- Tech lab & eLearning
- Mentorship & Career counseling
- At age 17, (usually around Grade 10) those students who wish to opt out of school can apply for Vocational Training which we facilitate
- Grade 12 students can apply for High School Scholarships for their final year, and for University Scholarships
At Grade 11 any students with a clear plan for College, the right grades and the character needed to support their academic goals can apply to our Scholars’ Dorm in Siem Reap where they will be prepped for College.
Since rural high schools cannot typically produce graduates that are adequately prepared for College, attending Siem Reap’s better-resourced schools gives them an academic advantage. Complemented by our intensive extra programming, including life-skills development and a robust support network of mentors and peers, students are given all the resources to achieve their academic potential. Without this access, university would be out of reach for even the most exceptional rural high school students. Our Dorms provide that reach, that amazing miracle of a way to College … and onwards to a brighter future.