Monday, 1 November 2010

New School Building at Who Will Children's Village

In the summer of 2010 CamKids, along with a Hong Kong based charity called the Sakka Foundation, completed the building of a school, office, and toilet block at Who Will Village.

Who-Will Village is set up as a group of houses with 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen/dining/living area in each house. As the children have been learning English now for the past year it became clear that the lessons couldn’t continue in the common area of one of the houses, as it was too disruptive to the house and also too tight for space. Who-Will were also keen to involve the local community in the classes and this could obviously not be done in their homes. Also there was nowhere for the new village director Saroeun to do his work and keep all the files etc.

Therefore it was decided that a new school building was necessary, as it would not only be invaluable for Who-Will, but also the wider community. The school is situated away from the children’s homes and alongside the school is a football pitch (donated by CamKids' supporters Chris Dobson and Silje Hoyden), where the village children and children from the centre can play together. CamKids made a donation of $25,000 for the school building and the Sakka Foundation donated $5,000. The schoolhouse now consists of two large classrooms, one of which will eventually become a computer lab, a large office, storeroom and bathroom, which will also be a facility for a visiting doctor to treat the children.

Who-Will are absolutely delighted with the new building and the children can’t wait to get to their extra classes once Khmer School in the local village is finished. Half of the children attend Khmer School in the morning and half in the afternoon, so English classes are held in both a morning and afternoon session. Who-Will have a fabulous Cambodian lady to teach English and she is now supported by a growing number of visiting volunteers (one month minimum stay required).

The first classroom and the office were furnished with a generous donation from Tom Gillespie, a CamKids donor, a large water tank was donated by Swiss XI directly to WW and funds for the Pagoda over the adjacent fishpond, where the village kids can keep out of the sun while waiting for classes, was donated by Elizabeth Scott, Mika Street and their friends.

The school was blessed by the local monks in a ceremony in June, just after the building was completed and we are pleased to see that a few monks now attend the English classes, as do many of the local village children. Free English classes are always very popular here in Cambodia!

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