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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Redd Barna Boost for Schools

Redd Barna Boost for Schools

Redd Barna, the Norwegian branch of Save the Children, has been active in Cambodia

since 1985, and has had an in-country presence since 1988. As a child-oriented agency,

Redd Barna has taken on a major role in reforming and strengthening primary education

in Cambodia.

Redd Barna's first programs in Cambodia began in 1985, when they assisted the government

to upgrade the facilities of the teacher training colleges in Kompong Cham. Since

1988 Redd Barna has also worked with the teacher Training College in Phnom Penh.

Later, after conducting a needs assessment Redd Barna decided to focus on primary

education, with an emphasis on teacher training. Since 1991 Redd Barna has conducted

its primary education programming using a three-pronged strategy: 1) teacher training,

2) curriculum materials development, and 3) infrastructure development.

Redd Barna is currently working in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Kompong Cham provinces,

with an average annual budget of US $500,000 for their programming. But this year

Redd Barna will receive a ten-fold increase in funding, thanks to Norwegian secondary

school students.

Every year Norwegian students organize "Operation One Day's Work," in which

students work for a day and donate their earnings to a developing country. Last year

the program raised US $5 million for Norwegian NGOs operating in Latin America. For

this year's effort more than 250,000 children have registered to work, and it is

expected the operation will again earn at least $5 million.

This year Cambodia has been selected as the recipient country, and Redd Barna, as

a children's organization, will use the funds for its educational programming. The

money will be made available immediately following the "work day," to be

held in October, and will be distributed over a three-year period for primary education

programs.

As part of their promotional effort for Operation Day's Work, the student organizers

of this year's fundraising drive met with Prince Ranariddh on June 25. The prince,

himself a professor of law, praised Redd Barna's efforts in education in Cambodia.

"I have two things to say: first, my gratefulness on behalf of the Cambodian

people, and second, we are at your disposal in providing possible assistance to facilitate

your work here. I am very grateful to all of you and your people trying to help our

people."

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