This reporting period has seen us having many public holidays: International Womens Day, Khmer New Year Holidays, International Labour Day, Visak Bochea Day, Royal Plowing Day, Kings Birthday and the 32nd South East Asian Games!
Khmer new year is such a fun time, yet a significant cultural event in Cambodia. It involves water fights and flour fun - traditions that hold fast over time and bring joy to the many who get involved! This time is for families to be together and many people travel to their home land to celebrate the end of the harvesting season, a time for farmers to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Training: Our child protection training will now be called 'Safe Guard' - We are partnering with Cambodia Women's Crisis Centre to implement safeguarding training. We look forward to seeing this relationship develop and learning new ways to support teachers and students in their day-to-day work/life.
There are 80+ students enrolled in this new school term, and when entry assessments are being undertaken, it's highlighting higher capacity levels in our older students. The teachers are constantly developing our curriculum to support the aims we are trying to achieve.
Future plans: Our Director is looking to purchase land to build a new school, and we need your help. Our goal is to secure land, build a school and house the Director on the property. Join us to create a difference - Shaping Stronger Futures!
Dear Angkor Buddhist Organization Friends
Wow, what a time it's been filled with dedication and resilience from students and teachers alike.
We have been so blessed to have such tremendous family and community support. And with your help, we have been able to offer students opportunities that fill them with hope and inspiration.
With the new school year starting, we have 60 students registered, with more coming! We can offer 90 students a placement this year until we find another teacher to join us.
Environmental changes have impacted our school this reporting period, as families living within 400 square km of Angkor Wat Park have faced land use changes. Preserving the beauty of Angkor Wat and keeping it on the World Heritage List meant many families were displaced and relocated from their ancestral homes. This directly affected our school, with many students unable to travel to study. We continue to explore how we can support those students.
As we continue growing as a new school again, we marvel at the students aged between 5 to 17yrs who are coming to learn and grow in their English language skills and develop their values and principles as proud young Khmer children who will one day be our Camobodain leaders. We plan to share student success stories in future reports and intend for their stories to come to life as we all participate in their journeys overcoming obstacles and triumphing toward their dreams.
Establishing a new school and working to make it future-ready is a challenging task that our Director and staff are all prepared for and fully committed to for students learning experience.
The work becomes more manageable in partnership with the Australian not-for-profit organisation ABO Rural School Siem Reap Inc, which focuses on building future financial capacity for our school. Your donations are a significant part of this financial security.
During this reporting period, our students and teachers learned on-site about Child Rights and Child Protection through a newly developed partnership with SOS Children's Village Siem Reap. The ongoing training will be provided bi-annually to keep our students protected and informed.
As we offer education that students cannot source in the public school setting, creativity and flexibility are attributes shaping the school's direction and growth. We plan, develop, and learn what works well for the school and how we can support students' learning experiences. Your continued support will change the lives of both students and their families.
The Cambodian school year has started during this reporting period.
Initially, we had 14 students at registration time, and now, we have 94 students enrolled. After assessing pre-existing knowledge & skills of each student, we were able to allocate individual students to their correct learning levels. The priority for ABO is to improve the ongoing learning and students' success. We are setting students up for success!
Teachers built a comprehensive picture of the impact of covid effects on our surrounding communities during the registration process. Many families struggle with bankruptcy after defaulting on loans with the loss of tourism through the pandemic, and they cannot fund their children’s studies. ABO offers no-fee study lessons, working to support struggling families.
Without sustainable funding, ABO continues to prioritise resources to support and develop our student's learning. We value partnership with our local Pagoda, which provides us with a venue to use when state school closes for the day. Venue sharing comes with challenges, limiting flexibility for class times in the evenings.
We are, however, eternally optimistic. With great learnings over many years, we are encouraged with the things we can achieve. Your support will help us reach our vision: Shaping Stronger Futures for 200 kids in Cambodia.
In the 4th quarter of 2021, Kroch Bopha, Director of ABO, decided to relocate the school, which became another new beginning. This change came about after management changes within the organization. It is now located back at What Po Langkar, Slor Kram Village, Siem Reap. Slor Kram Village has a population of 2,553 people. The Slor Kram commune comprises eight villages with around 220,000 people. The local monks in the village are providing their Pagoda for classes initially. So far, 14 students have enrolled for classes that will begin in January 2022. At this stage, there will be two classes. The plan is to build a new school and develop education and community services as per ABO’s previous model.
The change in location and school is in its early days. While this will be a new school, it will have the benefit and experience of Kroch Bopha to lead this initiative. In addition, Mr Phall will join as the Education officer (previous teacher at ABO school). Of course, ABO and Bopha will have the support of ABO Rural School Siem Reap Inc and donors from around the world.
A change in bank account details and the building of new staff and board members have been the focus for Bopha, ensuring that any local regulatory matters are set up correctly. Meanwhile, the Australian incorporated society team members are working on final pieces of documentation to enable the receipt of tax-deductible gifts for ABO in Cambodia. We hope this will be in place during the first half of 2022. Working together, we determine all school needs, including staffing requirements, laptops, whiteboards, supplies and any other material. Once we understand these needs, we will develop a budget for 2022 and determine various ways to raise funds for the school.
We are all excited about ABO entering a new challenge in 2022.
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