On Sunday 22nd October 2017, we flew off to Cambodia for a very busy two weeks to provide materials to the students for the start of the school year.
On the Monday we were driven out to the village of Phum O by Bunrith, our man on the ground. At Phum O Primary School the principals came to meet us, and one by one we collected the necessary information on each school.
We now have 10 schools that we support with 3250 students. The schools gained 490 Preps and said goodbye to 366 grade 6 students from the previous school year, many of who are now going to High School.
On the Tuesday, we had the task of going over the figures and preparing the orders for our suppliers. We purchase all of the materials locally, which provides broader support to the local community in which we operate. The uniform man is located at the People's market and the bicycle man has his stall next to the People's market and our stationery lady.
Our days start at 7.30am with Bunrith and Rosa our driver, collecting us so we can pick up our orders each morning. We then drive south from Siem Reap on National Highway No 6 for 45mins to an hour.
The first week we give out the stationery and uniforms, and with the 1st November being the start of the school year, we were pleased to have all the students kitted out beforehand. This then left us with the last three days to hand out the bicycles, to the students selected by the Principals as being most in need of assistance to get to school.
It was really pleasing on this visit to see that three of the schools we support, had made improvements to their schools by undertaking fundraising in their own communities. There was a real sense of pride at these schools of what they had done.
At the end of the 2 weeks we had given out 10,150 exercise books, 1,500 pencils, 1,800 pens and other stationery (US$ 4,950). Also 1,600 uniforms (US$ 10,350), 90 bicycles (US$ 3,330) and 493 library books (US$ 500).
All up we spent approximately US$20,000, which we have been accumulating through fundraising events attended by our supporters and your generous donations.
Meredith and Bec Liddle
Directors, Children of Cambodia Foundation.