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Make a WISH for child advocacy

120523_11

WISH at a school in Prey Veng province's Har village. Photograph: Phnom Penh Post

There are plenty of things that poor children in rural areas need to know – let’s make a change,” said 23-year-old Hak Meng, a founder of the charity WISH.

WISH – We Initiate Sharing and Helping – is a charity group formed by students from different universities.

Started in October 2011, the founders all share the same vision of offering outreach programs to rural students.

WISH has been active in Kampong Speu province and Prey Veng province.

Funds come from members and donors, who consist of teachers, workers and other philanthropists.

Along the road from Phnom Penh to Prey Veng, WISH encountered a daunting challenge when the group discovered that the road to a primary school in Har village wasn’t big enough for their bus to enter.

With cooperation and determination, the members of WISH unloaded the bus and walked on foot – over a kilometre – with all of the items for donation.

At the school, WISH quickly got into their planned activities.

Splitting the students into groups, they gave easy-to-understand tutorials on keeping healthy, including brushing your teeth and washing your hands.

To make the message fun, WISH members utilised games and songs to keep the village students’ attention.

At the end, WISH coordinated a role playing game, so that the students could eventually teach one another what they’d learned.

“This activity is the first of its kind, and unbelievable to me because no such activity has taken place here in Har village,” said Phok Vothy, one of the school’s vice-directors. “Hopefully these kinds of activities will continue because, according to my observation, students can learn a lot since the WISH teachers are great at teaching and communicating with the students.”

Hak Meng said that from their activities in Prey Veng, WISH will use what they’ve learned from the mission to develop new programs.

“Kids can learn a lot of new knowledge from our teaching, especially the value of studying,” he said.

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