Yesterday, Jack Eans (our Vice President of International Child Ministries) wrote about the Mechrey Floating School and the impact it has had on the community. The school goes up to 6th grade – so what happens if a child wants to continue his or her education? Jack wrote if they graduate from the Floating School, there is hope…
Their hope is the Dream Center, a new project where children from Mechrey who don’t have family in the city can come to live so they can attend middle and high school. Our missionary partners acquired a piece of land directly across from the middle and high schools so the children easily walk to school.
Children also have an opportunity to attend other supplemental classes like English, Music, Worship leading, Bible study and other skills at the Dream Center. Many of our children from the nearby Ampil School project also attend the afterschool program at the Dream Center if they go on to middle and high school. They live close enough to ride their bikes so they don’t have to live at the Dream Center.
We also visited the Ampil School where we minister to over 900 elementary students in K-6 grades. This is a very busy government school that has partnered with the missionaries to improve the education of all these children.
The biggest problem in Cambodian schools is the corruption. Since the government only pays teachers to teach half a day, many don’t show up or they charge the students to get extra tutoring. If a 9th grade student doesn’t pass a final exam in Cambodia, they can’t go to high school. There is a lot of competition, and the children are willing to pay these bribes.
At Ampil, One Child Matters helps supplement the teacher’s salaries. We guarantee the teachers will show up and be motivated to help the children. We enjoy a good relationship with the government officials who allow the project to be run at the school.
Cambodia is a Buddhist country, yet we are allowed to have religion classes. We have also been able to add buildings to the school so that class size can be reduced and more children can be reached. We don’t sponsor all the children in the school, but we provide the same program for all. The quality and availability of this education is changing lives, and it is an honor to be a part of it.