Today we started off our day by checking in with the children in the village. We ran into Nika's mother and she told us how much Nika enjoys attending school. She said that Nika is so excited to attend school she wakes up at 5am to get ready for classes that don't start until 7am. Nika's mother also was extremely excited to report that she can now not only speak in Khmer, but also write some basic sentences. Nika is so proud of herself that she had to show us in person her writing skills!
The children in Cambodia really enjoy and are thirsty for an education. They do not take it for granted, but take pride in the fact they are getting an opportunity to attend school. Unfortunately not every child has the ability to attend school here, which we are desperately trying to change with everyone’s support.
The meeting with the school directors and teachers went well today. There is a mutual goal at hand and we will be working together. One of the schools biggest requests is supplies. The teachers have a very limited budget ($100-$120 USD a month). We are going to try and help as much as possible since we are bringing in more children each week. They are very receptive to EE's initiative and follow up with the children.
The school is requesting 4 new white boards (like chalk boards) for classrooms. Next week we plan on getting the 4 white boards made if we can generate enough support. From our end it will be much more cost effective to build them and in return it also supports the local economy here...so it is a win-win.
The teachers and directors are extremely honest people and hard working. They are not looking to make money of the children or our organization. When we were talking to the teachers and directors, they were the ones who suggested we make the white boards because it would be cheaper. To us this built a lot of trust, because unfortunately we deal with people who are just looking to make money from us sometimes. Since this school has been good to us for the last 3 months and we have been building a relationship with their leadership, we really would like to start helping them with your generous support.
With April having Khmer New Year we had a few weeks to plan for the future. We also were able to check in with the villages that children are attending school from to measure our success. Overall we have been extremely successful with choosing who to trust. The villages really want their children in school and the children desire to attend school. They understand that education is a great chance to better themselves for the future and they don't take that opportunity for granted. We have only had 2 children move out of the area because they Father found work in the north along the Thailand border. Up until they moved they were attending school regularly. Our hope is that they now will be able to attend school immediately in their new home because they have the supplies and also their family has a better opportunity.
Today we went out to a new village and school in Tapang Cambodia. We were able to distribute school supplies to 30 children. We were also able to give backpacks to the students who did not have or had old worn out backpacks. There is a demand to put children into school in Tapang and Expert-Exchange after today has made a commitment to the school principal in helping facilitate getting the less fortunate kids into school.
We also visited the village where we have put the most children into school and talked to their families today. We found that they are doing well and there is a demand for two more children to attend school. Tomorrow we will be sending these children to school and giving them supplies.
More videos and pictures to come. Thank you all for the continued support, this would not be happening if it wasn't for you!
This project was sponsored by Chloe Mylett. She contacted Expert-Exchange when she was in Cambodia and offered to volunteer her time while traveling. Chloe came out with Expert-Exchange for two days. The first day we showed her some of the older villages we have been doing work in. How the people of Cambodia live and how education is not a given in Cambodia. Then we went to a new village that had a demand for children being sent to school. Chloe sponsored three children and provided them with 2 sets of uniforms each, footwear, and school supplies. By sponsoring these children it not only empowers the children, but also allows the parents to work during the day more. The following day with their families attending, we met them at school for their first day!
More about Project 13, Sokia and Nika, both age 6 are now in school full time. We provided them with 2 sets of uniforms, shoes, supplies for school, and backpacks. We also provided them with a ride to school on their first day, which their mother attended to see her children off to school. Before school started we also treated them to some ice-cream! Last before sending them off for their first day we took a picture of Sokia, Nika, and the mother which we will get a printed copy for the mother to have as a keep sake.
Project 14 put 3 children from a rural village outside of Siem Reap into school. Due to the generous support and time of Chloe Mylett these children were able to get clothes and supplies to attend school. The pictures and write up for this project will be coming in the next few days when the website is updated.
Project 15 was a combination of recon out into the countryside to assess the need for bringing kids to school. What we found was there was a demand for supplies and clothes, but the majority in the are we went attended already. Expert-Exchange handed out supplies to 6 children to assist them in furthering their education.
Expert-Exchange is committed to checking the progress of each child and assisting them in being successful This is why we are growing, but not at a pace we can't handle. The children enjoy school and attendance has not been an issue. In Cambodia education is not guaranteed, it comes as a privilege. By allowing children to attend school it also helps their parents find time for work, boosting their chances of coming out of poverty more.
Things at Expert-Exchange are moving extremely fast. We have completed projects 14 and 15 this past week. Expert-Exchange will be putting up a blog for project 14 in the next few days along with a slideshow. At the end of this week a more in-depth blog will also be posted explaining the plans for the future. We will be updating the site and adding a FAQ section with questions that we receive from volunteers and donors. Along with that we will be adding a page that gives credit to our generous donors! Thank you so much for your continued support!
Executive Director's Blog
Follow Macie through SE Asia as he embarks on a humanitarian adventure and assists inspirational individuals to improve their life quality.