Where We Work
We support over 2800 students across four pathways in the marginalized communities of Cambodia’s two poorest provinces, Preah Vihear and Siem Reap.
Our early work began from within the public schools, and while we still follow that model in most of the primary locations, as students graduated Grade 6 and needed support accessing high school, our strategy evolved accordingly. This has led to the creation of our own Learning Centers, which offer extra classes and activities that complement and augment the national curriculum while freeing us up from some of the constraints of operating from within government schools.
While all the communities where we work grapple with poverty, different pathways have very varied levels of public school effectiveness producing additional, diverse challenges for students. Therefore each pathway has a carefully curated ‘menu’ of programs that can be scaled up, scaled down, and adjusted as needed over time.
All pathways have the same ultimate goal of ensuring students access to opportunities that they otherwise would not encounter. Once a student enters a PLF Pathway, we accompany them every step of the way as far as that student will go, until the realisation of their individual potential – whether that be meaningful and dignified employment, vocational training or a university scholarship.
Locations – Preah Vihear Province
KOH KER Primary School
Koh Ker Primary School is in rural Preah Vihear Province near the ancient temple complex of Koh Ker, one of the areas hit hardest by decades of conflict. When PLF arrived at the school in 2006, the 40 students attending Grades 1-3 were about the only healthy ones in their village. Today, we’ve expanded the school to Grade 6 for more than 180 students and in 2016 added a kindergarten. In the beginning, students started coming because of the health benefits of the PLF breakfast program. Today, we’ve expanded programs to include English classes, a library, and all-you-can-eat lunches three times a month. Graduates of Koh Ker Primary School now have a dedicated truck that brings them to the nearest Secondary School at Srayang, where they can also enroll at our Learning Center across the road.
ROMCHEK Primary School
Romchek Primary School is 25km from Koh Ker and has just over 250 students studying in Grades K-6. We began supplying uniforms and school supplies in the beginning of 2015, and the following fall we launched a lunch program and English courses, built a clean water system, an office building for the teachers, a Library, and a new kitchen area and dining hall. Graduates of Romchek Primary School now have a dedicated truck that brings them to the nearest Secondary School at Srayang, where they can also enroll at our Learning Center across the road.
Prey Kuol Primary School
Prey Kuol is in an extremely remote location that is only accessible for half the year. During monsoon season, the small road that leads there, usually traversed by tractor or four-wheel drive, is completely underwater. The challenges for the school and its 130 students are significant. We began improving the facility in 2017, putting in clean water, toilets, an administrative office, expanding their classrooms, and adding floors and more desks. At that time, the school could only serve students in Grades 1-3 but with these improvements, can now take them all the way to completing Grade 6. Currently, there is no way to transport students to Secondary School from Prey Kuol. The first group of graduates moved into a house together at Srayang to join us at the Learning Center.
SRAYANG Learning Center
Formerly known as Srayang Dormitory, Srayang Learning Center opened on the 11th of January 2021. A decade after we first established a base at Srayang, and following the success of KVLC, this was the natural next step. Instead of being restricted by the small number of beds reserved for only the highest of fliers, now all students from the Preah Vihear village primaries have the opportunity to pass our exam and access the high school at Srayang. They are transported in huge trucks back and forth from their villages each day. They have their government curriculum at the public school (just across the road), then lunch and extra activities at the Center, including English, Remedial Khmer and Math classes, Computer class, access to a library, informal study groups and Life Skill Workshops.
Preah Vihear projects are collaborations of PLF Canada and PLF USA.
Locations – Siem Reap Province
CHEY Primary School
Chey Primary School has over 1,000 students studying in grades K-6. The base of our support at Chey comes from supplying 500 of those students in need with supplies and uniforms at the beginning of each school year. We also provide Microsoft Office courses, robotic legos, supplementary English courses, solar power, a bicycle distribution for graduating 6th graders, ukulele club, chess club, and a secondary school scholarship program.
WAT BO Primary School
Wat Bo Primary School is an urban school in Siem Reap with over 6,000 students in Grades K-6. It is one of the most highly developed public schools in the country and does not require PLF support. However, our work at Wat Bo involves providing access to over 600 urban poor students who otherwise would be unable to attend because of the requirement that they provide their own uniforms and school supplies. Bicycles are also given to graduating 6th graders and we follow those students along their journey through secondary school. PLF also provides internet services to the school to complement their existing computer classes as well as participates with the community in facility development of the campus.
KNAR VILLAGE Learning Center
The Knar Village Learning Center was the first situation in the history of our organization where working outside of the school created a favorable approach. This project supports more than 100 students currently studying at Khnar Primary School and graduates who have continued on to Secondary and High School. Our programs here include English, Science, IT, and Ukulele classes, Chess Club, Arts & Crafts, and a health station to meet the basic first aid needs of our students. We began our first Adult Education Program at KVLC, which provides a wide range of workshops to parents of PLF students on topics like domestic violence, family planning, and human rights.
SIEM REAP Scholars’ Dorm
PLF maintains two urban dormitories for high school students located just outside the center of Siem Reap city; one for boys and one for girls. These two dorms act as college preparatory facilities for students who come from rural areas without access to quality education. The opportunity to finish high school in Siem Reap Town while also gaining intensive extra programming from PLF well-prepares these students for university life in Phnom Penh.
This project is a collaboration between PLF Canada and PLF USA.
ULC (Urban Learning Center) & PLF HQ
Our newest venture, opened in 2022, brings to our urban program what PLF rural students have had access to for some time via our learning centers at Srayang and Knar, with extensive learning resources and a lending library of over 2500 titles. Additionally, ULC represents our biggest tech lift ever, comprising an IT lab with 14 terminals and classes available 7 days per week; on-site internet cafe for student use; and research rooms with study guides and online access. It also houses large workshop spaces for all the many gatherings, events and mentorship sessions our staff and older students regularly hold; as well as offices for our Operations, Tertiary & Administration teams – making ULC a one-stop-shop for all things PLF in Siem Reap city.