About the «Vieng Vey» aid project in Cambodia
The «Vieng Vey» aid project is improving primary education for children in the district of Teuk Phos in central Cambodia. Cambodia’s education sector is still suffering from the effects of the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror between 1975 and 1978, in which two million people were killed, among them most of the teachers and intellectuals of the country. Schools and pagodas (the traditional learning spaces) were closed and destroyed. Today more than 30% of the population live below the poverty level. Economic development is mainly seen in the urban centres, while life and work in rural Cambodia are still developing slowly. Most people living in the project region are poor farmers and produce hardly enough food to live. Many parents have to earn money from odd jobs, and the children have to help them with farm work or at home, resulting in their attending school only irregularly. The long journey to school – three to four kilometres – which the children have to cover on foot, leads to frequent absences. In some cases poor families with many children cannot afford education for all of them.
The «Vieng Vey» aid project is improving the educational situation of these children with two rural primary and two secondary schools, and two kindergartens. In addition to the provision of facilities, there is a focus on access to and quality of education. This includes training for teachers, improvement of school equipment, and support of children through provision of bikes and school materials such as books and pens. Furthermore, income generating projects for teachers and the poorest families are improving the daily life of the project beneficiaries.
Impacts and results
A beneficiary tells
«I am studying in grade 3 of the primary school. I like school and am studying hard to become a good student. My parents encourage me to attend school regularly. They are farmers and fishers and can neither read nor write. My favourite subjects are the lessons in our school library. I really enjoy borrowing books and reading them at home! I read them myself and together with my younger brother and am teaching him to read. I also tell the stories to my parents.»