ODA is a registered Education NGO with the Cambodian Government.
It’s important to remember that it is only 37 years ago the Khmer Rouge wiped out all levels of perceived intelligent Cambodians. For example, if you were a doctor or teacher, or even wore glasses, you were simply killed. All educative text, historical books and musical instruments were burnt.
Cambodians are now struggling in an educational rebuilding phase and the effects of COVID-19 are severely impacting current education.
ODA was created to assist village children to experience the 'luxury' of education, to help qualify them for employment and prepare them mentally and physically for their future in the harsh environment that is still Cambodia today.
ODA CENTRAL SCHOOL
Located in the Angkor Wat Temple precinct and supporting 36 full time students (including four of Leng and SryOn’s own biological children). Village and Commune Chiefs approach Leng when they have children in varying desperate situations. Due to COVID-19, these residential students have the IT capability to study online but normally, the children attend Khmer school ½ a day, six days a week, and in addition, English, Art, Computers and Khmer Culture classes are offered at this ODA school. Local village children attend English classes also.
ODA OUTLYING VILLAGE - Free English Schools
Donor funded, solar powered masonry school rooms are used for kindergartens, English night school and computers. ODA runs seven other free English kindergarten and night English schools, with four offering Introduction to Computer classes. These are located in outlying villages 40-60kms out of Siem Reap.
Employment is plentiful in and around the booming tourist industry in Siem Reap, however the primary requirement is for English skills, even for general housekeeping duties in hotels. Leng Touch saw the need for English classes in these outlying villages to offer opportunities of improved future employment for the poor but keen, children of subsistence farmers living there. Classes are mostly overflowing as seen below; they don’t mind sharing up to six to a desk or floor space – they are just very happy to have the opportunity to learn English for free.
Through kind donors and ODA art sales, ODA currently has 16 students attending University courses of their choosing, including Bachelor of English, Accountancy, Civil Engineering and IT. All teachers are trained to conduct ODA classes in Kindergarten, English or Introduction to Computers, enabling them to earn small salaries around their further study. A further three students have now graduated with Masters Degrees in TESOL English and are continuing to teach at ODA schools. They also assist in further updated training of other ODA teachers. A UK University Lecturer, plus an experienced Australian TESOL teacher, work with the ODA Teacher Support Manager, to oversee training of teachers, curriculum choice and delivery.
ODA FARM & AQUAPONICS PROGRAM
ODA Central students have been in COVID-19 lockdown this year so are busy with online school and farming to provide as much food for themselves as they can in their free time. They have loaned land nearby, so are growing vegetables using hydroponics water from their recently expanded fish farm.
ODA YEARLY UNIFORM FUND ($27USD a set)
NO UNIFORM = NO GOVERNMENT SCHOOL, ODA CAN HELP...
Cambodian law states that if a child does not have a uniform they cannot attend school.
2012 - 399 uniform sets; two sets including underwear and a mosquito net.
2013 - 320 uniform sets (this time as above and including sneakers and socks).
2014 - 659 uniform sets.
2015/16/17/18 and 2019 - Support from kind donors all over the world enabled ODA to distribute 703 uniform sets these last four years, including two uniform sets, underwear, sneakers, socks and a mosquito net. These families are so very grateful for the assistance – with six to eight children per family, they simply couldn’t afford uniforms for their children to attend school, so without this project, farming children would start work at very young ages.
2015/16 - The introduction of the AEC (Asian Economic Community) is a huge problem for Cambodian children. With most neighbouring countries having implemented compulsory school attendance many years ago – this is a serious challenge to young Cambodian people seeking work in the future in this economic community – as a result attending school has become a critical issue.
Statistics from world aid organisations show school uniforms save girls lives.
The price of a uniform allows a girl to stay at school longer - resulting in later marriages and less deaths from childbirth in immature bodies. Statistics also indicate that more education for girls and boys results in many gaining improved employment opportunities or starting small businesses and as they mature, they also tend to have less children and support extended education in schools.