Funds raised so far: 40%
About the Project
The Children of the Mekong Education Centre in Sisophon was created in 1993 to face the challenges that were affecting the villages in the region. A state of war and crime was causing many to migrate to the city of Sisophon, including many orphan children who were victims of abuse and mines. They were often left to their own devices.
The center’s goal is to allow children with intellectual capacities and the willingness to study to increase their knowledge by offering them a range of high-quality courses: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, the Khmer language, and foreign languages. These courses are open to all, including children who may not be sponsored by Children of the Mekong.
The centre now includes 41 boarding houses in addition to the education centre. It offers 1,695 children a safe haven and a network that is suitable for education and personal development.
The resumption of the Covid-19 pandemic in Phnom Penh in November prevented the students in their final year from taking their exams. Therefore, the baccalaureate was presented to all students.
The education centre distributed school materials to 63 schools in the villages around Sisophon, the province’s Department of Education, and the sponsored children of Children of the Mekong. Additionally, bikes were provided for the sponsored children who needed them for transportation.
As the schools improve and develop each year, the centre hopes to eventually replace the additional courses with coaching sessions that will aim to comprehensively respond to students’ queries. In addition, the centre hopes to emphasize independent study time, as the scheduling of classes has brought some complications.
The Graduated Class!
The entire class of 2019 – 2020 affiliated with the Sisophon centre, approximately 80 students including 31 who are housed on-site, have graduated from the Baccalaureate. As the final exams for the baccalaureate could not be held in the year 2020 due to Covid-19, the diploma was issued to all students by the government.
My name is Sereynath, I am 20 years old, I live in Cambodia and I have been sponsored for 10 years now. I moved to the Children of the Mekong Centre in Sisophon six years ago. I was born in a village about 50 km from here, to which I return three times a year and I call my family once a week. Thanks to the sponsorship, I have been able to get a full education, and I am starting my first year of study in Chinese literature. Without it, I would have worked with my family in the fields or at home, and would not have had time to study.
In 3 years, I will graduate with a degree in Chinese literature and wish to become a Chinese teacher. I originally wanted to teach Physics, but that was not possible because this year the government graduated my entire class because of the pandemic. However, access to studies to become a physics teacher in Cambodia depends on the grade of the Baccalaureate, so no one has been able to embark on this path this year. I’ve been interested in Chinese for some time, so I decided to go for it. I would be happy to come back and live with my family when I start working. On the other hand, I would also like to work for Children of the Mekong, by giving Chinese lessons for example.
In addition to a solid academic background, I have learned a lot from people here. I learned to live together with a diverse group of people, and have learned to adapt to a new environment. I also had to change some of my habits. I like living here because the atmosphere is cheerful and I have made many friends. The environment is nice, there are many trees, it is very green and well maintained. There is no waste on the ground. When I arrived, I immediately felt welcomed. We did not know each other, so we smiled and asked each other questions. I was helped to find a bed, and my new life began!