Where we work
Our goal is to work with existing public schools rather than building our own private programs. There is no need to re-invent the wheel when there are already schools in place that are hungry for training and resources. We believe that the best way to create true sustainability is through working with school administrators and village leaders to build the capacity of the school to run on its own. This comes hand in hand with fostering the dedication of the community to support those efforts. We target schools in rural areas 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 fair proximity to Temples, where the allure of going out to work selling trinkets to tourists is greater than the allure of attending a poorly managed school lacking resources. In these areas where there is no push to go to school, our efforts are focused on creating a pull.
Preah Vihear Locations
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 to school because of the health benefits of the PLF breakfast program. Today, we’ve expanded the programs at Koh Ker to include breakfast, 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 can only be physically accessed 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 at the school and for the 130 students who attend it are significant. We began improving the facility in 2017, putting in clean water, toilets, an administrative office, and expanding their classroom building as well as putting in floors and building 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 grade 6 for completion of primary school. 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 and have joined us at the Learning Center.
Siem Reap Locations
TCHEY Primary School
Tchey Primary School has over 1,000 students studying in grades K-6. The base of our support at Tchey 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. Our project at Wat Bo involves providing access to this excellent school to over 600 students who otherwise would be unable to attend because of the requirement that they provide their own uniforms and school supplies. Bicycles are also provided to graduating 6th graders and those students are followed by us along their journey through secondary school. PLF also provides internet services to the school to compliment their existing computer classes as well as participates with the community in facility development of the campus.
KHNAR VILLAGE Learning Center
There has only been one situation in the history of our organization where working outside of the school created a more favorable approach. The Khnar Village Learning Center is a PLF Project that supports more than 100 students currently studying at Khnar Primary School and graduates who have continued on to Secondary and High School. Our program at the KVLC includes 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 have also recently begun our first Adult Education Program at the KVLC, which provides a wide range of workshops on topics like domestic violence, family planning, and human rights to parents of PLF Students.
SRAYANG Learning Center
Formerly known as Srayang Dormitory, Srayang Learning Center opened on the 11th of January 2021. Step-by-step and one-by-one has always been our mantra. In the 2020-21 school year, a decade into the project at Srayang, we took the natural next step and transformed the Dorm into a Learning Center. Students are transported back-and-forth from their villages to the Srayang school each day. They have their government curriculum at the public school (just across the road) have lunch at the Center and finish up the day there, with English Classes, Remedial Khmer and Math classes, Computer class, access to a library, informal study groups, Life Skill Workshops, Chess Clubs and whatever else we dream up along the way.
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.
Read more about our Scholars Dorm program here.
Our office is located on the ground floor of Seven Candles Guesthouse, which is run and owned by Ponheary’s family. The guesthouse also houses a computer laboratory for urban PLF students and a training room for workshops. When we’re not out at school, this is where the rest of the action happens!