We are delighted to share that the Kuma Cambodia School welcomed its first students on the 5 June 2012. The original intention was to build a school to educate and care for the most vulnerable children in villages in Takhmau where the NGO, NAPIC (Norwegian Association for Private Initiative in Cambodia), works with healthcare and other support. NAPIC has managed to find a private property to rent which is perfect for a school for marginalized children. This allowed the project to move forward at a much faster rate than first anticipated, using the funds much more efficiently.
The property has two buildings and is located in an area adjacent to the villages, down a quiet alleyway. It is in very good condition and has nearly 5000m2 of land. NAPIC have rented the property for 10 years, with renewal every fifth year after that. The main building has multiple bathrooms, running water and electricity, and the garden has huge areas for running, playing and sporting fun. There are beautiful, shady fruit trees everywhere and the land does not flood. There will be a guard and his wife (the cleaner) who will live onsite and the property is secure with a large fence and two big gates. The second building has just been set up and consists of five classrooms. In addition, a separate toilet block with five toilets will be ready before the school opens.
The Kuma School will be a free school offered to children who would otherwise not get access to education due to extreme poverty, orphan status and/or living in a dysfunctional family. Parents who ensure their children attend regularly will be rewarded with food parcels. The school will also provide regular health and dental check-ups.
A typical day for the children starts with a shower, putting their uniform on and having breakfast, followed by brushing their teeth. They will then do their Khmer lessons before having lunch. After lunch they will have playtime, a rest and then a mixture of Arts and Cultural lessons, PE, Music and English. The day will end with playtime and a snack before going home.
This full day has economic advantages as it allows their parents to work full-time without fearing for the safety and wellbeing of their children. It will also provide a haven for the students in contrast with their desperate living conditions.
At UWCSEA, the Kuma Global Concern group have lots of activities lined up and will support NAPIC in this school initiative, through projects, professional development and educational initiatives. A website will be set up for updates and transparency.
Thanks to the generous donations from companies and individuals over the past two years and at our previous ‘Kuma Trivia Nights,’ NAPIC has been able to set up the Kuma School with school resources, a kitchen, a new office, a full playground, a tuk-tuk that will act as a bus to pick the children up from the villages, health and hygiene resources as well as providing a food incentive to families of children with very good attendance. We are truly grateful for such generous support.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in changing the lives of these underprivileged children.