Friday, 28 October 2011

EYC Summer Camp

EYC was given a great opportunity to send 150 students to an adventure camp in the jungle of north Cambodia over the past few months (25 per week for 6 weeks). The feedback from the students has been a very positive, as this was a life experience unlike anything they've ever done before. They can't seem to say enough good things and when they return they are bursting with enthusiasm.

The facility, called Jombok Hoas, was provided free of charge, but the total cost for transportation was significant and funds were not available to pay for the bus rental. CamKids therefore offered to cover most of the transportation costs and our students have been travelling across Cambodia to allow them to take part in this great opportunity.

The following is a letter from an EYC student:
Hello! My name is Choum Sopheak. When I went to the adventure camp I was happy, excited and a little afraid. Now I want to tell everybody about my interesting experience there with the other students from EYC.

When I came to Jombok Hoas, I thought that this place was going to be more like an army camp. But when I stayed there and participated in the activities, it was much different to what I thought. Through the many experiences and the learning activities, this place has encouraged a greater consciousness and self confidence in me. Most activities have impacted my social life, my individuality and the people around me. Jombok Hoas is a place for helping people to work together, to build teams and to forgive the other people in the group. All the games always create knowledge, new ideas and we gain experience from it. They showed us methods to solve the problems that we face in our lives, like studying, family, and working.

I learned a lot of creative ideas in leadership, relationships and how to work with co-workers in organisations. Some of the activities were very scary, but I still managed to do them, because of the facilitators and my friends, who always encouraged me. I even managed to survive the high ropes course. Thanks to EYC, CamKids and the organisers of Jambok Hoas who offered the opportunity for me to get more knowledge and experience.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

"Big Po" Community School in Takeo District

Big Po community school is one of 15 locations where CamKids, in conjunction with the local NGO New Futures Organisation, operates rural schools in the Takeo region of Cambodia. CamKids funds all of the running costs of the 15 schools and is working with NFO to improve the quality of the teaching and the buildings where the teaching takes place. The following post is an extract from a report made by CamKids' local staff member, who regularly checks and monitors the schools.

Big Po is located in Pou village, Sambuor commune, Treang district, Takeo province. It is 12km from Takeo town and takes nearly one hour to get there, via the main road. Big Po opened in 2008 in a female teacher’s house in Pou village, for which she charges a nominal rent to use her house. None of the students are charged for the lessons and all of the books and other materials are provided free of charge by CamKids.

There are two English teachers who are qualified teachers at local State schools. One is a teacher in the Pou primary school and the other, a high school teacher. They are hired to teach English to the children after normal school hours, under the rural schools programme developed by NFO and CamKids. The wages which they earn supplement the low wages which are paid in the State schools and help to support their families. They usually teach about three hours per day from Monday to Friday in the afternoon (State schools usually only operate in the mornings). They are often helped by visiting foreign volunteers, which gives both the students and the teachers the opportunity to practice their spoken English and improve their accents.

During the State school vacations, the teaching schedule is changed, as the students are free all day. With the agreement of the Authorities, they move the lessons to the Pou primary school which is located in the village and is better for the children as there are more opportunities to learn and play.

The syllabus depends upon the age and ability of the group which is being taught. For example, some children learn from the Beginner New Headway syllabus, whilst others use Let’s Go Part One. The total number of students being taught in this community school is 116 at an annual cost of around $1,400 (£900) which equates to a cost per child of around $12 or £8. CamKids is also working to provide additional training for the teachers and has also established a teaching English by Phonics course, which all of the teaches have been instructed in, by a visiting educationalist from Australia.

If you would like to support this or any of our other education projects, please send an email to A regular donation of £30 ($50) per month will pay the wages of one of the teachers at Big Po school and £20 per month ($30) will pay all of the costs for 30 children to attend school for a year.