Every child deserves a quality education. In Cambodia, many students fall behind, especially those in poor rural areas. Although there has been progress made to include adolescents with disabilities, ethnic minorities and students living in poor communities, students are still falling behind in their development. In a 2018 UNICEF report, only 27% of 3 to 5 year olds are on track in literacy and numeracy, and when they reach 17 years of age 55% of those students have dropped out of school for various reasons. The lack of quality learning, combined with deficient nutrition and poor health, leaves rural students developmentaly behind.
This is where health relates to education. If a student does not have access to clean drinking water and good sanitation, they get sick and are unable to attend school. Bad water leads to a number of health issues, malnutrition being one. Another factor that impacts the nutrition and health conditions of students is the lack of basic infrastructure, this includes WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities.
To help address this challenge, Trailblazer constructed a water filtration / hand washing station at the Kok Dong Primary School. Kok Dong Primary School is located 63km from Siem Reap city. It is located in the most populated village in the area. Kok Dong village has a total population of 1,195 people within the 280 families living there. The school serves 272 students who are the average primary school ages - under 11 years old. It is estmated that 72 new students will grow the student population each year.
The water filtration / hand washing station that Trailblazer constructed plays a critical role in helping improve and maintain the health of the students who attend Kok Dong Primary School now and into the future. The community also benefits from the water filtration / hand washing station because villagers are welcome to collect filtered water in containers to take home for use by the entire family, whereby improving the health and nutrition of these families in the village.
We are deeply grateful for the donor who made this water filtration / hand washing station project a success. The livelihoods of Kok Dong students and their families will benefit long into the future because of this project. Students will have a greater chance to thrive and continue their education, leading to more opportunities to succeed in their life.