Schools are not just a place to learn. They give hope; a new spirit and focus for the community; an opportunity for children to see beyond their village boundary.
Numbers of students in the villages as of January 2015 are approximately:
Chobb Romdeng, 250.
Chobb Kompleng, 80.
O'Rumcheck, Chrung and Chobb Romdeng schools have grades 1 to 6. Chobb Kompleng has grades 1 to 4 and these schools have been able to take on more students and grades now that the new classrooms were completed mid 2014. They are all Khmer schools. We provide English language as an extra voluntary program at O'Rumcheck, Chobb Romdeng and a neighbour school at Prey Knor. The teachers agree with the importance of consistent school attendance for good future prospects for the students. However, it is difficult to enforce as it is culturally acceptable for the children to work in the rice fields. Attendance can fluctuate during the year especially at rice planting and harvesting times as the families require the children to provide labour and/or babysitting of younger children.
School uniforms are mandatory in Cambodian schools. Children who can’t afford to buy uniforms are sometimes embarrassed and will not attend school as a result. So, uniforms have been provided at the schools. We also provide classroom resources requested by the teachers as well as sports equipment and other needs like hand basins, soap, water filters etc. We also help with the maintenance of the schools.
The children at O'Rumchek get rice, fish, salt, oil and lentils in the breakfast now provided by the World Food Program. The vegetables which the children grow at school are added to the meal. The WFP halved the quantity of fish in the breakfast in 2011, so we have been researching the feasibility of a small aquaculture project to make up the shortfall in the children’s daily protein allowance.scroll to top
Water is life. In total eight dams and three wells have been constructed providing consistent water throughout the dry season. Water filters have also been given to and utilised by many families.
In 2007 O'Rumchek had no water. Contaminated water was carried 2kms on the back of bikes and carts for the children to drink.
Lack of water means the villagers are dehydrated and dirty. The lack of clean water means that the villagers suffer chronically from disease. They were unable to grow vegetables and fruit trees.
The well installed by us at the school in O'Rumcheck in 2008 gave the village its first clean water. It provides a good flow of clean water although the flow diminishes in the dry season. Because it is a deep well, the water is bacteria free. The water is also free of heavy metals including arsenic which is a problem in other areas of Cambodia. The water from all New ERA wells has been tested and is potable.
The villages value the provision of clean water. The dams and wells are often centres of community activity as the water is gathered and also use to wash and feed animals from.scroll to top
Health, Hygiene and Nutrition
Health, Hygiene and Nutrition training is crucial in assisting the villagers to understand the changes in practices that are necessary to achieve better health in the long term. The teachers and local received training and now have the information to incorporate health knowledge into their homes and curriculum , e.g. causes of diarrhoea and respiratory disease, as well as healthy practices e.g. good dental hygiene, hand washing, using the toilet etc,. The school has been provided with hand basins, soap, towels, drinking cups, and the children have been given toothbrushes and toothpaste. Over 70% of villagers now brush their teeth at least once and sometimes twice a day.
The installation of the dam next to the school has meant it is now possible to grow many more vegetables and a large garden has been planted. It includes morning glory, corn, tomatoes, luffa and eggplant. The children bring cow manure to school to fertilise the garden and they water the vegetables. Two boys from very poor families are paid to care for the garden. The new dam is edged with lemon grass and mango trees. The teachers and students also grow and care for a small vegetable plot which is watered by the well overflow.
Now that they have completed their training in Siem Reap mid 2012, the six women sewing trainees have formed an “association” where they can work together to produce garments for the local market and derive an income. New ERA will work with the women to help them accomplish this goal. Along with the machines already provided, a Sewing retail shop has been constructed where the women can sew and sell their garments. These are the first women in the O’Rumchek community to have an income-earning skill other than rice growing.
In December 2011 six villagers from O'Rumchek completed a week long mushroom growing course. A pilot mushroom growing program in O'Rumchek which will continue while it proves to be economically viable is under way. The mushroom training is benefiting the children with fresh mushrooms in their daily breakfast along with the vegetables they grow.
Employment opportunities are greatly increased for Khmer people with English language skills.
The Village Chief, Community Committee and Khmer teachers were very grateful for our offer to commence an English language program for the students at O’Rumchek school. The children can attend morning or afternoon English classes. There are now 2 English teachers and a classroom assistant who go to the school once a week.
The people in the villages where we work have a very isolated and insular life. With no electricity, television and little money for transport their exposure to the “outside” world is very limited. To help with motivation of the primary school children to continue to attend English class and to help them understand the improved possibilities for their future employment if they learn English, the students are given the opportunity to go on excursions. These are to Angkor Wat and other places of cultural significance as well as Siem Reap where the children can see the work opportunities that people have, and to places which give them the opportunity to do things they can’t do in their village e.g. go swimming.scroll to top