Since 2006 Cambodia-Dutch Organization is active in the beautiful surrounding of Chhuk. Since June 2007 Cambodia-Dutch Organization provides free English classes and, with support from the “Mill Hill College” and foundation “Wilde Ganzen”, has built a new school in the village Chhuk, which is in use since February 2009. Cambodia-Dutch Organization tries to find solutions for the water problems and medical issues in the commune. For the future Cambodia-Dutch Organization is working on creating employment.
In the authentically village Phoem Chhuk (pronounce as “Tjoo”) and surrounding, 30 km south of the city Siem Reap (near Angkor), traditional rice farmers live under poor conditions. The people live without electricity or other modern resources in very simple but traditional huts.
In 2006 there was one brick school building in the village, foreseen of two classrooms, of which only one is in use. The second classroom was being used as storage by the teacher. On the open schoolyard was an old wooden barn which served as a school building. This building was about to collapse and had to be replaced quickly, since two pillars were completely rotten and wouldn’t last much longer. The desks were in the same poor conditions and there was no study material whatsoever. The same applied to the schoolyard, as also the brick school building. The cheerless classrooms served as playground for the children, but have been improved in the mean time. There’s still need for more help.
In October 2008 we started building a new school, which had to replace the old wooden school building.
Since February 2009 the village has a brick school building with 2 classrooms and a storage room. With help from Winery “Hees”, “Mill Hill College” from Tilburg and foundation “Wilde Ganzen”, CDO has been able to build this with the villagers.
In October 2008 we started giving English classes 2 hours a day in the village Rhomdeng. The volunteers and one or two Cambodian boys go to Rhomdeng by bike. The brick school building with 2 classrooms in this village also needs improvements, renovation and extension urgently. Further more, an extra classroom, a lavatory for the students and teachers and a water pump are needed.
The primary school was of questionable quality. The teaching methods were out of date and it lacked any basics. Because of this and the fact that many children are obliged to work in the countryside and search for food, the attendance was very low. A solution could be providing free lunch for the children. The parents received a letter in which we explained how important it is to send the children to school. To create more attraction, we set up a program in June 2007, to provide the children with free English classes. It’s heartwarming to find the number of students is exceptionally high. Children from other villages visit (by foot sometimes) and often travel about 8 km. In the morning during Khmer class, there’s an average of 130 children. Since we started providing free English classes in the afternoon, the number of students increased. The children can’t wait to get started. There are about 300 students daily! Because most parents allow their children time for school of 5 p.m., we now also teach from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Of 6 p.m. it’s dark and we teach with light from power generated by a diesel generator. We use 3 classrooms and have 5 Cambodian teachers, who are common rice farmers and work on the fields early every morning. We teach them English every day and prepare the daily classes with our volunteers. In total we teach 12 hours a day in the two villages.
The head of the commune (7 villages in total) regularly asks us to provide English classes in the villages further away in the commune as well. At the moment it lacks financial means for this.
Medical post Chhuk
By the end of 2009 we could finally start building the so wanted medical post in Chhuk. After years of preparation and organizing, the building is as completed and now we can start furnishing. We’ve already received many medical things from the Netherlands. Next we can start on the infrastructure. The building is done by locals, under supervision of a building expert. It was very important to our organization that the locals would contribute to their medical post. For most of them it was the first time on a building site ever, which can be seen as a great achievement.
We wouldn’t have been able to do all this without financial support of Winery “Hees”, comprehensive school “De Lage Waard”, music band “De Familie Buisman” and foundation “Wilde Ganzen”. On behalf of the Cambodian people: thank you once again! For information, click here.
We get more and more orphans and young families of which the father has died of AIDS or another illness. We offer help by providing them with food, clothes, soap and shampoo. When necessary, we install a water pump which can be foreseen of a water filter if the water is of poor quality. Together with the residents we create vegetable gardens, so they can provide for their own necessity of life.
Recent projects in Chhuk and surrounding villages were, amongst others, a glasses-day, a weeks medical program in collaboration with another help organization and sewing classes for the students, so they can learn how to repair clothes. During the glasses day we were able to hand out more than 1000 pairs of glasses to people who needed it. The glasses were donated by foundation “Eyeclarify” from the Netherlands.
In the future we want to work on:
- Improving the water quality (more water pumps and water filters)
- Medical care, through our new medical post in Chhuk (extra help is very welcome!)
- Employment by teaching: sewing clothes, fixing water pumps, setting up a barbershop, creating vegetable gardens, building, repairing and maintaining straw roofs and huts, furniture making with bamboo, which grows fast and is strong and durable. Of course we can use volunteers for these things as well.
This post is also available in: Dutch