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ODA Free English Schools

English language classes are readily available in Siem Reap - but for village children 30-40kms out of town - most miss out on this important skill with government schools only offering one hour a week. English education coupled with a Khmer school education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty for village children. Tourism plays a key role here with tourists to Cambodia arriving to visit the amazing Angkor Temples. Some 3000 Hotels & Guest Houses and auxiliary services provide plentiful employment opportunities but require various levels of English even for general housekeeping tasks.

Leng set up first 1 then 2 and now 7 village night Free English schools in outlying villages to meet this need for the village children's English education to assist them to improved future employment possibilities. These night classes began under houses with one 5 watt globe supplied by an ancient battery, children sat on the dirt floor and wrote in the semi dark conditions and amazingly chanted their lessons out with the English songs and words floating over the surrounding darkened rice fields – simple but so beautiful to experience.

Today Leng has attracted 4 separate Donor groups who have donated solid masonry single room buildings with solar power, desks, toilets ,wells and with drinking water filters for the children.

2 Hours of Kindergarten daily has been added to these schools now. There are still 3 schools under houses but they now have trestle tables with bench seats and 3 neon strips to provide decent seating, lighting etc. Teachers are simply local village students or farmers with a level of English, as with bad roads & wet conditions in the monsoon season they must live close to the schools.

ODA conducts teacher classes daily to ensure they continue to improve their own English & deliver their classes to the required standard. Several of these teachers are now studying at University – part funded thru kind ODA supporters.

Prior to construction there had to be Blessing of the Ground Ceremonies conducted to eradicate troublesome ghosts in line with traditions so the parents would let their children come & the children wouldn't be frightened to attend. Now with exterior lighting villagers tell Leng they are happy to pass by – both seeing and knowing there are no troublesome ghosts at least in the vicinity of the schools.

With over 700 children in the 7 schools, text and work books plus whiteboard markers are a challenge to keep up with as most of the villagers are too poor to supply them for their children but the parents are very keen for the children to attend to improve their future prospects. Packs of 10 work books are only $5 so we are very grateful when kind people donate for us to purchase them. Small donations go a long way here Kindergartens operate in the afternoons for 2 hours & computer classes are conducted daily at 2 of these schools. A wonderful skill for remote village children to be learning.

Children arrive up to 2 hours early at the new schools using them as a community centre –playing and socializing together – so lovely to see them adopting it as 'THEIR' place.

If you choose to donate for the uniform fund or schools program please email us – paypal has only 1 button for donating so your email is the only way we will know to direct it to these areas.

The schools are fully registered with the District Education Authority and certificates are presented as children pass exams – these certificates bear both the Cambodian DEA and the ODA logo. A big advantage to the children when seeking employment.

If you are visiting & have room in your luggage - 2nd hand educational toys are gratefully accepted.  Motor coordination, pull apart & rebuild toys, blocks, leggos, wooden jig saw puzzles,  shapes & colour puzzles, bubbles, face paints, write & wipe activity books etc etc etc