Today we piled into Chris' jeep and headed out to Wat Kok Chork Language School, one of the school programs the the KICK (Kids In Cambodia Kickstart) Programs supports and funds.
The school was established in 2006 by Daro Keb, a monk, who wanted to provide the local children (unable to pay state school fees) with a free education. The schools main goal/vision is to provide these poor children with an education that will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge required to break the cycle of poverty and to give them hope for a brighter future.
I had the honor to spend some time chatting with Daro and to hear about how far the school has progressed since 2006, the challenges and implications faced at present and his vision and aspirations for the future of the school. This is a man with great vision but many political and financial obstacles to overcome.
Daro hopes to build a school community that will be able to provide quality lessons and education, dormitories for orphaned students, a medical centre for the community, playing/sports fields and an Arts education centre. His dedication and passion for achieving this vision is strong and evident as he speaks about it and shows us his plans. His dedication to the children and to is dream is overpowering and I am struck with admiration and respect for this petite man who has the strength to carry the futures of these children on his back.
We hope to mentor and support Daro in numerous ways. We hope to show him how he can develop financial schemes that will help him fund his school and it's expenses as well as assist him in the future development of his school. By showing Daro ways he can create a consistent financial income is a priority for us and we hope to see him and his school become independent, self sufficient and sustainable. Of course this will require patience, hard work and commitment by all involved but overtime we believe it will be possible to see that Daro's vision becomes a successful reality that the community as a whole will benefit from.
As we toured the school today, we discovered that the water pump had malfunctioned. So we organised a new pump for the water pump that had broken down. This was a necessity and we didn't want the school to be without water for too much longer.
I was also very pleased to see how successful the Arts lessons have become at the school. The children were enthusiastic, motivated, confident and eager to please. Over the past month Barb and Tansy had initiated and developed a a unique program to teach children english through the arts and what a success it's been. Both Barb and Tansy are passionate about their programs and it's obvious how much their hard work has help to create a community of learners that are enthusiastic, motivated and appreciative of the art lessons.
We will be back on Friday for another day of Art lessons and hopefully all the students will turn up. Of course another challenge is regular attendance at these lessons. Of course parents would much prefer their children work, collect garbage for money and help out in the family home rather than go to school. We hope to change this cycle.
So from the children, the teachers and from Daro we give thanks and gratitude to your donations to our fund, today your generosity touched the hearts of many appreciative and over joyed children in a small village not too out from the city of Siem Reap.