Villages Bassola & Kror Boa, located in Kampong Spoeu province
2010.....800 people starving and dying from cholera and typhoid fever. No safe water, no food, no medicine, no sanitation and no education.
18 months after Rithy coordinated Rotary’s involvement there is a very different situation. There is plenty of safe water, plenty of crops growing, and a local “medicine man” trained to dispense paracetamol and life saving antibiotics and worming infestation prevention medication effectively.
Our plan doesn’t stop here however….The next steps are building a school and training teachers so that the 500 or so children can be educated, and installing a biogas system to provide sanitation while using the methane for cooking gas. Then silk weaving, mushroom production…..and the end result 3 years after Rotary was introduced to the village is a self sustaining, wealthy village where the children stay with their parents.
Local Khmer social workers work in the slums and garbage dumps to rescue children in danger. These children may be victims of physical and or mental abuse, sexual abuse and trafficking, and children who are at risk of being sold for their organs. The centre cares for up to 100 children and the main sponsor is an ex-Australian, and President-Elect of Rotary Club of Phnom Phen.
Another project that shows Rotary in action is a remote village school that Rithy introduced us to in 2011.
Children were travelling over 10 kms to school each day without breakfast, the school was falling down through being eaten by white ants, the teachers had inadequate resources for their teaching and all in all it was struggling.
Today the outside structure is being rebuilt, the classrooms will be refurbished by desks and chairs from a shipping container via DIK, books, clothes and school uniforms are provided. The local teachers are supported in their local village community.
The Krousar Thmey special schools are the only schools in Cambodia to offer schooling for deaf and/or blind children from grade 1 to grade 12 (from primary one to the final school year of secondary school).
Schools for blind children
Two special lessons are dedicated to learning Braille (reading and writing) as well as mobility & orientation in order for new pupils to gain independence in lessons and within the school grounds.
Deaf pupils can only communicate on a very basic level with their classmates when they first start school. Children generally learn quickly when they start school, but mastering sign language requires a relatively long learning period. This explains why the majority of young deaf pupils finishes grade 1 (primary 1) in two years. Children start nursery school from the age of 5 in order to facilitate their learning and development capacity at the earliest possible stage. After this period of adjustment is complete, the teaching is the same as in state schools: the curriculum is set by the Ministry of Education and Krousar Thmey adapts it to the child’s disability. In primary school, four subjects are taught in Sign language or Braille: Khmer, mathematics, social sciences and natural sciences.
Kampong Pluk School
A non-Rotary funded school in this village built on stilts – a school in need of some assistance and resources.
An orphanage funded by Rotary Clubs from all over the world, particularly Japanese Clubs. Future Light Orphanage was established by Killing Fields survivor Nuon Phaly to care for orphans of the Pol Pot regime and landmine accidents. The orphanage cares for 300 children ranging from 4 years old to university age. The orphanage also runs weaving classes for women and has a shop that sells wares made by local women.