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Town school kids help their poorer village counterparts

Town school kids help their poorer village counterparts

2 ISSR

Children from the International School of Siem Reap (ISSR) travelled to Kantoo village in Dan Run commune on May 7, to donate over $500 of school supplies purchased with money raised from their school fair.

The donation was part of a project run by Angkor Hospital for Children’s Capacity Building and Health Education Program (CBHEP), ‘Education for Kantoo Village’.

A former parent at ISSR, Daniela Vagni, worked at CBHEP last year and suggested Kantoo as a cause when the school decided to raise money for charity through its inaugural summer fair.

“Angkor Hospital for Children has an outreach department for some of the local rural villages where they can’t get access to a health centre,” says ISSR school principal Richard Halliday. “The hospital has projects where it goes to the villages to educate on health care. One of these local villages, Kantoo, had a school that Daniela knew of and she suggested we donate the money towards it because it’s a rural school – it doesn’t have any books or facilities, it’s very poor.” ISSR’s children were in agreement, and the $520 raised went towards buying resources for about fifty children at Kantoo village school. Each child was provided with a school pack, containing a school uniform, books, pens and pencils and a rubber.  A set of the Khmer teaching books was also purchased for the Khmer teacher for the different grades taught.

In March, Halliday and ISSR owner Chhun Phallin visited the school with CBHEP program manager Amra Phoeurk, meeting children, teachers and the commune chief.  On May 7 they returned with students from ISSR and the school packs.

“The kids were very excited,” says Halliday. “We handed out the packs and the uniforms and the first thing the kids did was take out the school uniforms and very excitedly put them on. Straight away – some of them over the top of what they were wearing, and others ripping off their shirts and shorts and putting on their new uniforms. They all looked very smart.”

The village is building a new school raised on stilts with a concrete structure and better facilities. The village raised some money through the local pagoda and started to build the foundations. Halliday says at the next school fair, coming up in June, will help fund the purchase of more school supplies.

“We’d like to help provide maybe desks and resources for the school once it is finished. We’d like the children to be able to raise money to buy things that they can associate with education –things they take for granted in their school.”

The next ISSR school fair takes place on June 15, from 11am – 4pm.

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