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  • Trip Report March 2017

    On the 5th March 2017, I left for Siem Reap with my friend Robyn for 10 days of work at our 9 Primary Schools. That afternoon, friends Trish, Jo and Melba from Adelaide, South Australia arrived in Siem Reap to join me.

    The plan for this visit was to provide maintenance to some of our schools. This time it is paving and Toteungtgnay and Prey Prah are the chosen schools.  Also whirly birds are to be placed on the roofs of each classroom at Toteungtgnay, Thnal Dach and Prey Prah.

                         

    A toothbrush and toothpaste for every student was also on the agenda and Robyn, Trish, Melba and I had a busy time handing these items out. (Joe nominated himself as photographer.) Bunrith was again called upon to demonstrate to the children how to use the toothbrush and toothpaste.

    Library books for each school were also on the agenda with Bunrith and Rosa taking us to the stationery store where the five of us spread out and gathered a selection of books. It was with extreme pleasure that I watched Robyn, Melba, Trish and Joe purchase their selection of books for the school of the day.

         

     

    We also paid for Mr Saren, our builder, to provide a new wrought iron gate at Beoung PS.  When we arrived at Beoung I was surprised to see a new brick fence had been constructed in between our last visit in October/November and this visit. This had come about by fundraising by the villagers to make it safe for the children while they are at school.

    When we arrived at Phum O PS I was also pleasantly surprised to find a new brick fence constructed by the villagers. The Commune Chief had decided that the village should contribute to this school as well.

    Another successful trip.

    Meredith Liddle

  • Trip Report October 2016

    Once again we headed to Cambodia and were met by Sophan and Rosa at the airport.  It was a pleasant change to find warm humid weather after leaving cold days behind in Melbourne.

    Meredith and Pam spent the first two days visiting the schools, talking with principals and teachers about how the schools were faring and seeking student numbers and any extra requests for the coming school year. 

    As we had nine schools to visit (with a total of 2,908 students), to allow us plenty of time with the teachers, we took a picnic lunch with us which we enjoyed sitting in the shade on the side of a village road.  

    We were delighted to hear that the Education Department budget had been doubled which meant principals and teachers salaries had increased dramatically.  A principal can now earn $250 per month and a teacher $150- $180 per month.

    We were also amazed to discover that despite us giving Grade 1, 2 and 3 one work book over the years they in fact need 3!  One for Khmer, one for maths and one for general lessons. This blew our budget and added greatly to the load in Rosa’s van but we were happy to provide them.

    The principals had got together before our visit to discuss their request lists.  Library books featured on every list so perhaps this is one area for us to focus on in the future.

    Our uniform suppliers at the People’s market were very pleased to see us, as was Bunni at our stationery store. We were very sorry to learn that our bike lady had passed away during the year. However her son seems to have taken on her role so we were able to proceed with our order for 82 bikes.

    We visited our 9th school at Domrei Chlong and were warmly greeted by Mrs Sao who is our only female principal.  While we were there we were approached by the principal of a nearby school, Kun Sang, who asked if we would support his school which has 350 students.  This school is located in the midst of a small village nearby and we advised him we would be happy to support the school. That now takes the number of schools we support to ten, our long term target!  Our biggest school has 597 students and our smallest 189.

    Gary and Geoff joined us for the second week and during school visits we met with Commune Chiefs, school committees and village representatives.  In all instances it was clear they were very happy with the work we are doing and certainly want to work with us into the future. 

      

                             

    The principals who attended Teachers Across Borders courses in June this year were very happy with what they learned and we have lined up, and will hopefully send, another 6 teachers to the sessions in 2017.

    With the 10th school now on board for next year we are now supporting 3,270 students.

    So a very successful trip and lots to plan and think about for the coming year.