Our first destination of the day was to a privately funded school located about 10 kilometers away from Phnom Penh city. The school was setup thanks to funds provided by the Saudi government to help the surrounding Muslim population in the area. The school provided additional instruction in Islamic studies for the youth of the surrounding Champa community. Some of the students attend normal daily government public schools on top of the classes here but for some who are less fortunate than them, these classes are the only form of education that they can afford to attend.
(L: School building at Chreng Chomres, R: Snack shop operating outside of the classrooms for the children)
(Classroom scene with the younger students)
(Some of the children I manage to get up close to)
(Students queuing up to get their care packages)
Even with the hardship that they faced, the teachers were determined to make sure that the children received the best education possible in this school. The current batch of teachers were the lucky ones who escaped the persecution under the Khmer Rouge regime by being able to leave the country as refugees before the purges started. Taking the education that they received outside of the country, they have come back to help the current 3rd generation of Cambodian after the Pol Pot era to get back on their feet by giving them a solid education base. It was expected that children who go through this school would be able to build a better future for themselves and their families.
(Immediately after the distribution of packages, the class was a buzz with excitement as students checked out what they got)
After spending almost 1 ½ hours at the school, it was time for us to leave and get back on the road again to our next destination. A few of the students who had finished their lessons for the day came out to see us off. The teachers also wished us a safe journey and thanked us for our visit. What we brought with us to distribute to the school that day may seemed just a small drop in the bucket but for them every little bit of assistance would help and highly appreciated. In our small way, we were helping these children equip themselves better through knowledge to help better their community. With very little that these people have, a solid education for the children was one of the most prized goal they want to achieve.
(Kids sending us off to continue our journey)