With the second half of the calendar year now in full swing, we're pleased to give you more information and insight into how your support is making a difference.
Here at ISF, we offer ongoing holistic support to all our Education Programme students including healthcare, two school meals six days per week, monthly food parcels for their families, school fees, uniforms and other materials, English classes, computer classes, extra-curricular activities such as sport and dance, vocational training and Employment Support.
215 students are currently studying two grades in one year in our Catch-up Education Programme. We were delighted to see 88% of our catch-up students pass their exams in May with flying colours, progressing to the next grade. The 26 students who failed will have to repeat the grade and will have a chance to attend extra classes at ISF.
A further 379 students are supported to study at government-run schools in Phnom Penh. Each student received two uniforms, a pair of shoes, a backpack and a set of stationary. 45 state school students who had to walk more than 2km to school also received bicycle and helmets. During the reporting period, our students’ attendance rates have been high (93%) and the percentage of students scoring above average has increased by 27% compared to the last quarter.
Receiving an education is an opportunity that ten-year-old Saren* has grabbed with both hands. Life for him isn’t easy but he manages to attend school every day, to study hard, to help his mother sell fruit in the evenings and to play football in between – all with focus and a determination to succeed.
Saren is one of 11 siblings and the first in his family to go to school, a chance he didn’t think he’d get to have as his family’s income was too low to cover education costs for any of the children. Attending school is more than just the chance to learn the state curriculum, for Saren it’s a chance to learn and practice English (his favourite subject), to play with his friends, to join ISF’s Football Programme and to have a break from difficult living conditions at home.
To support nutrition as well as help compensate for any loss of income due to a child attending school, ISF provides the families of students with monthly food parcels. This has gone a long way in Saren’s household and means that two of his other siblings are now also able to receive an education – one at ISF and one at state school.
Saren’s favourite pastime is football which he excels at and was a key player in the winning team that took home first place in the U10 Boys category of the AIA-ISF Youth League 2018/19. Every day at school, in between classes, he can be found kicking a ball around with his friends and teammates. Saren’s favourite subjects include Khmer and English and he can also be found practicing speaking and reading English with his classmates.
Saren’s English teacher Hanlie has praised him for his hard work and he is very proud to be considered a top student. “I’m very happy that my teacher said that I’m a smart student and get to good grades” he says. “I’m always reading my textbook and happy to practice English with foreign visitors when they come to visit ISF” he adds.
In the future, Saren dreams of becoming an English teacher and a football player for the Cambodian National Team.
From education to healthcare to nutrition and football competitions, we're striving to reduce inequalities in the communities where we're working and make a difference where it matters most. As always, thank you for supporting our work and making good news stories like Saren’s possible.
Saren, ISF student