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China Daily Global / 2021-01 / 06 / Page016

Cambodia gets rural schools due to NGO

China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-01-06 00:00

KRATIE, Cambodia-In a tiny, remote village, roughly 50 kilometers east of Kratie provincial town, the villagers had never hoped that they would have a nice concrete school building for their children.

But hope came when Chinese-run NGO, Cambodia International Charity Organization, visited the Treap Primary School in their Treap village in Chet Borei district's Thmey commune and decided to build a two-classroom concrete building.

Work on the project started in October and was fully completed in late December.

Chhourn Kotra, the 24-year-old headmaster of the Treap Primary School, said the school had long suffered with a deteriorating wooden building with leaky iron-zinc roofing and termite-infested walls, making it difficult for students to study when it rains.

"I had never imagined that there would be a nice concrete school building in the poor and remote village like this," he says. "Generous Chinese people have made it happen here, and it will benefit the children for decades to come."

Kotra, who has taught at the school for four years, says that there are only two teachers providing education to approximately 70 students in the village.

"We're very happy that the Chinese organization has paid attention to improving the education of children here," he says. "I believe that they will enjoy studying in this new school building."

The headmaster says that, besides the building, CICO has also built a pumping well and installed four toilets at the school.

"Education is the base for eradicating poverty, so CICO's school building project will undoubtedly contribute to reducing poverty in rural areas of Cambodia," he says.

Treap village chief Sann Meng says the village is home to about 110 households with 425 people, mostly ethnic minority groups of Bunong, Kuy and Stieng.

Villagers' living depends on growing rice and vegetables, fishing and raising animals, he says, adding that the village is almost inaccessible during the rainy season due to the poor roads and transport infrastructure.

"It's the first-ever concrete school building in my village and we're pleased to get it," he says. "It will enable the children here to have a proper place to learn."

He says that the construction of the building truly shows the good intentions of the Chinese people toward the children in the far-flung area.

Officially registered at the kingdom's Ministry of Interior in March 2020, CICO's main purpose is to help construct school buildings in poor and remote areas in order to enable children to have proper classrooms for learning, says CICO's president Ye Linna.

"We want to help children in poverty-stricken areas of Cambodia to have a good educational environment so that they can get better education and will contribute to the country's development when they grow up," she says.

Treap Primary School is the third school that the organization has helped build, Linna says, adding that the first two, developed in Western Kampong Speu province and Northwestern Siem Reap province, were already benefiting nearly 200 students.

The organization has also planned to build two more school buildings in the near future, she says, adding that one will be in a remote area in Northern Oddor Meanchey province and the other in Northwestern Banteay Meanchey province.


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