In Cambodia, government funding for schools is limited and it is up to the community to resource school improvements such as: toilet block construction, libraries, dorms for teachers and students, desks and whiteboards. Many students also require support for their education such as bicycles, and school supplies. Our program lets communities take ownership of their school improvement priorities. This project funds the efforts of 8 secondary schools in Siem Reap, impacting 2000 students.
Completing secondary school in rural Cambodia is still a privilege for the lucky few. Only 40% of children complete grade 9 and as children get older, they must travel further to school. The school environment also impacts enrollment, attendance and drop-out rates. Nearly 90% of Cambodian children in a global survey said they would improve their schools and the quality of their learning environment if they were in charge. Rainy season flooding makes landfilling a priority for many schools.
The communities we work with set their own priorities so school improvement activities will vary. Providing toilet blocks directly influences school enrolment and drop-out rates particularly for teen-age girls. When school can be up to 10KM away, a bicycle can mean the difference between getting an education or not. So can the lack of a school uniform and other school supplies. Dorms house teachers and students when schools are far away.
Improving the school environment has a direct impact on enrolment, attendance and dropout rates. So does facilitating access to school by providing bicycles, uniforms, and school supplies. We believe local communities are the experts in setting their own development priorities. That's why our programs are also focused on capacity building and training so that ultimately communities are able to manage their own fundraising for school improvement projects.