Empowering Cambodian children with language

by ODC Organization
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language
Empowering Cambodian children with language

Dear Supporters, Teachers, Students, Parents and Family Members,

With the Covid-19 pandemic impacting everyday life, we hope you’re in good spirits and health!  We would like to begin by expressing our deepest gratitude for your continued support in these unpredictable and challenging times.

We had hope to reopen and welcome back our students to the classroom but unfortunately the Cambodian Ministry of Education has not given permission for NGOs to do so due to the ongoing pandemic. In the meantime, we have adapted to this new reality of non-contact learning and found innovative and creative ways to engage our students and reach out to our community safely. Our teachers continue to work tirelessly to connect with our students daily, via telephone or/and the internet. Educational materials are distributed weekly and students’ progress are closely monitored.  These new approaches have provided opportunities for the teachers and students to utilize technology as a fun and effective way to learn. We are extremely proud of our ODC staff, students and parents who continue to show tremendous resilience during these uncertain times. 

ODC has taken advantage of this time to provide additional professional development to our teachers by upskilling their IT competency and introducing creative and more inclusive teaching strategies. Teachers are undertaking an advanced English course to further improve their own English proficiency. They are looking forward to putting into practice their new skills and further engaging their students whenever they are allowed to return to the classroom. 

Our Teaching Scholarship program has begun with three young trainees who have a real passion for teaching English to young children. They are learning valuable professional skills that will assist them in their future career. They will act as Teacher Assistants at ODC when the school reopens. They are very keen to share their own experiences with students. The ODC Merit Scholarship introduced in July identified three students with outstanding academic potential whose families were particularly devasted by Covid-19. ODC has been able to provide some financial assistance to these families.

The pandemic has given us much time to reflect upon and evaluate our work. We are constantly seeking better ways to deliver our educational outcomes. After due consideration, we have decided to pilot an extended curriculum to include Maths, Science and Social Sciences and increase teacher-student contact time to two and a half hours daily.  The pilot program will commence in May 2021 and the first cohort of students will be children aged 5-6. This will expose them to the learning of English at an early age and broaden  their understanding in other important learning areas. All subjects will be instructed in English, with greater emphasis on the 4 macro-skills; listening, speaking, writing and reading. In December we will be providing you with more detail on the scope and intended impact of this new program. We are very confident that it will enable our students to achieve much more advanced educational outcomes and empower our students through education.  Our dream is that our students will be able to access greater opportunities to build a bright future for themselves and the country. 

In times like this, we’re reminded of how connected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible. Your impact will be long lasting and the people of Cambodia thank you most wholeheartedly.

Sincerely

Chhaiya IM

Founder and Headmaster, ODC Organization

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Dear Supporters, Teachers, Students, Parents and Family Members,

These are truly remarkable times and we would like to begin by expressing our deepest gratitude for the diverse and generous contributions each of you have made this year in helping ODC deliver on its educational mission.  Even in the face of unprecedented adversity, your sustained commitment has helped us to not just endure, but to innovate.  To find new, and often improved ways, to engage with our students.  To bring to them not just English, but to demonstrate real life skills such as resilience, creativity and grit.  To show them first-hand just how important their success is, to all of us. 

As 2020 began, our focus was on delivering a newly created curriculum and experimenting with new classroom organizational plans.  To fund our increasing student enrollment and bring in new educational resources we applied for and were accepted into the Spring 2020 GlobalGiving Accelerator competition.  Our target goal(s), for dollars and new donors, was dramatically exceeded.  Amongst 674 globally distributed charitable organizations who were also in the 2020 GlobalGiving Accelerator Program, ODC's fundraising campaign concluded in 5th overall place (i.e. among the top 1%) and in so doing also secured generous matching funds!  

Midway during the GlobalGiving fundraising campaign the Covid-19 pandemic had reached Cambodia and in response the Education Ministry closed all schools. ODC closed immediately. Yet we remained committed to providing payroll support to our teachers and to finding safe ways to still reach our students.  Numerous distance learning approaches were evaluated and ODC parents surveyed to determine which approaches could work best in their home settings.   Given resource limitations – lack of internet, only modest availability of smart phones and the expressed preferences of parents – the ODC staff developed a distance learning educational system based on printed worksheets and weekly cell phone call check-ins with each student. Using socially distanced and mask/glove/hygiene safety precautions, each student’s weekly material is distributed in packets to parents’ along with graded materials from the week prior. Over 90% of student/families have participated in ODC’s distance learning program and the feedback from parents has been highly encouraging.

During the absence of children, we have been able to make important technology upgrades to our classrooms that will further enable our use of the internet and multimedia in teaching.  These include LCD projectors and speakers as well additional copy/printing capabilities.  Our classroom designs and class schedules have also been revisited to support the expected requirements for ensuring safety given Covid-19.

On July 3, the Education Mistry announced their intention to begin re-opening schools across Cambodia.  The precise schedule has not been fully detailed, and schools will be re-opened in accordance with their ability to provide safety precautions.  ODC expects to be re-opening soon in conjunction and in compliance with these new guidelines.   While we are thrilled to begin to put the Covid-19 closure behind us, we know that the pandemic situation is fragile, and the status in Cambodia can rapidly change –which may require us to close yet again.  If this becomes true, we will be remarkably, more prepared.  What we have learned during this crisis has proven to be invaluable.  We have new ways to teach, new levels of engagement with our student/families, and these we will be certain to nurture well beyond the pandemic.

The economic hardship unleashed by Covid-19 in our tourist dependent region will be long lasting.   As we seek to empower our student’s future through education, we may have to find near-term creative ways to help them (and their families) endure these economic challenges as well.  To begin, we have already established two new ODC scholarship programs.  More details on these will be forthcoming.

In closing, we simply cannot do what we do without you.   Please know that we are endlessly grateful.  Your impact on Cambodia will be long lasting.

Sincerely

Chhaiya IM

Founder and Headmaster, ODC Organization

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Organization Information

ODC Organization

Location: Siem Reap, Siem Reap Province - Cambodia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Soo Buckle
Siem Reap, Siem Reap Province Cambodia

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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