There may be no rest for the wicked but there’s also no rest for the good. SKOPE is moving on to do more great work in rural Cambodian villages. We’re already focused on our next project after the completion of our work with Chumkriel Language School last week. Our next school is a little closer to home: in Prey Veng province and just an hour and a half from Sovann Komar.
Prek Pnong Primary School provides classes to 87 children from the surrounding villages. It is very remote and the road there is, well, not a road. I traveled out to visit with Sovann Komar Children’s Village Director, Mr Arun, and Sovann Komar School Headteacher, Mr Kosal. The children were just adorable, smiling constantly and fascinated to see the photos of themselves I was taking on my camera.
SKOPE is working in tandem with several individuals within Cambodia and a high school in New York for this project as it is our most financially ambitious to date. We intend to provide Prek Pnong with a well, a toilet block, and a playground. Most of this will be funded by private individuals but SKOPE will be contributing as well. The villages in this part of Prey Veng have no fresh water supply and must purchase large water drums to drink, cook, and washwith. The school has no onsite toilet.
Just three teachers provide lessons every morning for Grades 1 through to 6. The classes are mixed as a result (Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3 and 4, and Grades 5 and 6 share classrooms). The teachers were all wonderful and the children study hard when they come. When they come. Often enough parents elect to keep their children at home where they can earn money picking fruit at the local mango farms. For many families, education has to come second to putting food on the table.
And as for the playground? Well, school isn’t all about studying hard. It’s also about learning to socialise, playing well with others, and having fun. The children from Sovann Komar Children’s Village themselves will be designing the playground which will be built in the shade of two large trees. The play equipment will be made from recycled tyres, a cheap, safe, and sustainable material.
I’m very excited about this project and we are looking to complete all three aims by the beginning of July. If you would like to donate money, please visit our Crowdfunder page or email me directly at SKOPE@sovannkomar.org.