Why I’m Staying in Cambodia Despite COVID-19
In a recent YouTube Live, my colleagues and I shared why we are staying in Cambodia despite the uncertainty. I came to Cambodia to enhance education. Due to COVID-19, the need for high-quality education has become more evident.
Why I Stay
Education will give Cambodians a better future. And that’s why I stay. I had the privilege to benefit from one of the best schools. Like the ancient King Salomon, I want to raise my voice to help the ones who have no voice. That’s a strong reason to stay.
“Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors.” — Psalm 72:4
How We Help
As an organization, we are investing in education in various ways.
1. We Provide Sustainable Support
Due to ongoing lockdown in many parts of the world, the situation in Siem Reap has not improved. The tourists continue to stay away. The number of unemployed people is increasing day by day, and so is poverty. Many have to sell their scooters and switch back to bikes because of a lack of money. Others cannot buy basic food to feed their family.
We established a three-pillar plan to provide sustainable support for the families.
More than 60 families in the surrounding villages receive food and hygiene products. We expect this number to increase fast.
We geared the second and third pillars to guarantee long-term sustainability. We want families to become independent. The families will learn how to grow certain crops and livestock. And our team will teach the families basic life skills, including financial literacy.
2. We Provide a Learning-Friendly Environment During the School Closure
Schools in Cambodia have been closed for two months. Due to the lack of laptops and smartphones and the absence of parental support, a small percentage of children participate in online school.
The government announced yesterday that schools might be closed until the beginning of November. Imagine the catastrophic implications on the young Cambodians level of education. We fear that many teenagers will not return to school once they open.
We are implementing small study groups in the surrounding villages to limit the long-term effect on the children’s education. ICF will provide the children with a learning-friendly environment where they can concentrate on the lessons of the online school program.
3. We Strive for Long-Term Enhancement of Education
My first mission has not changed. Despite short-term adjustments due to COVID-19, I’m still leading the long-term development of the Education Program.
I have reached out to various schools in the entire country to assess the pain points and limitations. One substantial need surfaced: we need excellent teacher training.
ICF Cambodia has an excellent leadership training track record that we want to leverage.
How can we change the country? Let us train excellent teachers, help them build new schools, and replicate the training system in many parts of the country once the system works.
The best is yet to come!
Thank you so much for your generous support!
You can give a one-time gift or become a monthly donor through the SUPPORT THE MISSION button.
One More Thing
And yes, there is time for fun too! We enjoyed the beautiful region of Kampot close to the Vietnamese border as we can travel again within the country.