Samrong is located in a rural province of Northwest Cambodia.
Funds raised so far: £22,884 of £44,991
Physical access to school is difficult with the cost of transport or the number of walking hours proving dissuasive. Many children must convince their parents of the importance of education, as often the families rely on small-scale farming for income and thus their children being a part of their workforce.
Rural and disadvantaged public schools tend to have facilities in poor condition, which negatively impacts on the quality of education provided. Driven by extremely low wages, there is an ingrained culture of private tuitions after school hours where teachers expect students to pay an extra fee to make up the shortfall, but this is unattainable for disadvantaged children.
The Samrong Education Centre works in conjunction with the public schooling system. The Centre provides full boarding which includes accommodation, tuition, extracurricular activities and various types of material support, to enable disadvantaged students to pursue secondary education.
Applicants to the centre are selected based on their family’s economic situation, their personal motivation, and their academic achievements. The centre aims to provide these students with the means to become well-balanced men and women.
WATCH THIS 1-MINUTE VIDEO PRESENTING SAMRONG EDUCATION CENTRE
IMPACT OF THE SAMRONG EDUCATION CENTRE
- In the 2019-2020 academic year, the Samrong Education Centre had an impact on 130 direct beneficiaries. We estimate at least twice that number of indirect beneficiaries who are mostly siblings of the children sponsored which benefit from food distribution and are reimbursed from health spending in public hospital.
- 83 children received full boarding in the four boarding houses in the centre, in addition to education support.
- The centre also catered to an extra 47 children who came every day to receive free tuition given out of school hours in the centre.
- 7 sponsorship programmes provide individual support for children living with their families in the 10 surrounding villages.
In 2020, the baccalauréat (end of high school exam) was awarded to all 12 Children of the Mekong candidates given that the government decided in the light of the pandemic to deem all candidates nationwide to have passed the exam. This crucial exam is a portal to university education and then a properly paid job or vocational training if it serves the individual and their family better. Such performance speaks volumes for the critical role played by the Samrong Education Centre in the lives of these students. However, all pupils at the centre also passed the internal exam set by Children of the Mekong. All of them are now studying at the University.
Student orientation is a key part of what we offer our students in higher grades. The objective is to expose these students to the various opportunities available to them in the future. For those students who are better served by gaining quicker access to employment, we partner with Vocational Training Schools to help students learn skills that will enable meaningful employment.
I am 17 and I live with my grandparents in my village as my mother is in Thailand. My family is very poor, and my mother told me: “I don’t have any money to give to you, so you have to study and find the money yourself”.
I am in Grade 12 and have been at the centre since I entered Grade 7. When I was in my village, I didn’t have any friends and I used to play with the boys. Ever since I arrived at the centre, I have gained brothers and sisters, many nice friends. The food is very tasty. I can play many games, but even better, I can study, especially English, which is a subject I didn’t know before, I find it very fun.
Children of the Mekong is teaching me how to become a better person, how to study well to have a beautiful future and a great job when I will finish my studies. Finally, I want to thank you, you and Children of the Mekong for your help.