As many of you know, I spent two months in Cambodia. I have been raving about it ever since I got home. I have also been wanting to go back since the moment I got off the plane. In this post you will realize why I wanted to go back. I am going to describe a typical day at the school and why you should take the time to help this amazing school.
First a little background about the school. The Self Help Community Centre of Cambodia is located in Siem Reap. They provide free schooling to a little over 1,000 students. These students come to the school at all hours of the day to learn English. They receive one hour of english a day and they get to also learn life skills. Many of them go their to learn farming, business techniques, sport among many other activities. Those who help with the school and the students are the most genuine people I have ever met in my life.
Seeing their smile everyday was better than any pay check I could ever receive. Monday-Friday I would wake up around 7 am to get to school by 8:30 ish. My cousin and I would hop on our bicycles after our egg breakfast and take the 6 mile trip to the school. Rain or shine. Most of them time the latter and very hot. VERRRRY HOT. We would get to school and we would be greeted the countless smiles to see the Barang (foreigner in Khmer). From 9-11 we would both go to our designated classrooms and teach students English. You might be asking your self how could I teach English? Well, I was able to do it. We would be teaching the little kids the alphabet and simple words such as dog, zebra, or temple. For the older kids, we would be teaching them grammar lessons.
11 O’Clock meant getting ready for lunch. The YDC were the older students. They were the ages of 15 and older. We would hop on our bicycles and head down to the local market to get the ingredients for lunch. It normally consisted of pumpkin, rice, noodles, pork, soup, and lots of chili. Around 11:30 we would begin to cook and just talk with the students. Lunch was always a fun time as we learned new Khmer words and got to hang out the students. After lunch we would have a little break and nap in the hammocks. Oh were those the best times.
After lunch it was back to helping around the school. From 1-2 we would help out with their farming projects or helping them dig around the school and helping them rebuild their huts. These huts were used for the students to have somewhere to continue their studies and also for some of the students to sleep. From 2-4, we would teach more classes. After those classes we would normally leave and set back out on that 6 mile bike ride.
Seeing the children’s smiles every day, made each day an incredible day. They worked very hard to get where they are today. They spend countless hours studying for their state school which is their Khmer classes as well as their English classes. They YDC in particular attend state school every single day. Their day started much earlier than any day I had in Cambodia. When state school started back up in November, they would wake up at 4 am to prepare for the day. Those students who lived at school to help out would wake up and start preparing breakfast and lunch for around 15-20 students. School would start at 6. They go to school until 5 Pm. After that they come back to school to learn their English and to help out around the school. Normally, they don’t go to bed until around 11 O’clock and then do the same thing the next day.
These kids are simply being overworked, but it is needed if they want to succeed and graduate from state school. The tests are very hard and require lots of dedication. Most of you, who are reading this probably have bitched and moaned about waking up for 11 Am class and have no idea what these students go through. They are amazing kids who deserve only the best.
Recently, the school got funding to bring onto their staff State Certified teachers. This would allow the students to get state schooling right on their property. This would allow the students to get a break and start being able to live their lives again and not have such crazy hours. In order to do this, SHCC needs money to purchase more land behind their already existing grounds. This would allow them to build an additional three classrooms designated for state schooling. They are looking to raise around $30,000. It may seem like a lot but I am not asking to raise $30,000. I am asking you to check out my fundraising page and take the time to watch the video about the school and donate some money. Your money will help create someones future and for them to fulfill their dream. I have over 1,000 friends on facebook and I’m sure my message won’t get out to all of you but if it somehow does, if you donate 1$ each, you’re money will go a long way I promise. I can promise you that the money is going to a good cause. I can vouch for every single person at the school.
I hope you see the good in what you can bring to these students and just donate a little bit. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me.
I can’t express my gratitude enough to those who donate and any of those who would like to but simply can’t afford it at this time. I understand if you can’t give money now but please help spread the word to all of your friends.