Impossible to fit 1200 students into a pic size, but with masks on they tried to manage it!
We wish you could have been here to experience the wonderful 1st day of Uniform Distribution to 1200 students. Such a success thanks to you! More distributions will be held at the government schools themselves over the next couple of weeks.
Over 2000 all up here with students and families, such a challenge to manage successfully.
6:30 am and the seething mass of youngsters and their parents began surging through the Pagoda gateways. Chaos, Mahem, commotion, chatter, excitement all bubbling over and everything that could happen, did, and much more! We wish you could have experienced it with us.
Huge relief by not only parents that their kids were gifted a further year of education, but the government school principals, also so grateful for so many of their students not having to drop out of school due to the lack of a uniform. Uniforms are always passed down, but after a full school year they are not in very good shape and despite mothers trying to make one OK out of several old ones, they rarely last long anyway.
So happy to be able to stay at school for another year at secondary level.
District dignitaries all asked Leng to please thank all the kind donors and commented on how lucky this Banteay Srey District was to have ODA and it’s wonderful supporters to assist their youngsters to continue their education in this very difficult COVID-19 affected financial time.
The District Governor Khim Finan who attended last year, unfortunately had meetings in Phnom Penh, but his deputy officiated for him, and there is a wonderful set of photos and write up on his Facebook (written in Khmer of course but great additional pics)
Teachers, doctors, engineers of the future here?
Local dignitaries gave ‘Thanks as big as a mountain’ ( Akun Moka Phnom) to Leng to pass on to you. They are so grateful for the help and assistance in this rural area which is allowing children of poor families to invest their time in gaining knowledge and education to benefit their future lives. They told parents they could only guess at the investment involved by kind overseas people but it would be substantial, and they impressed on parents they must press their children to take advantage of this kindness and study hard all year long to show their gratitude.
What a headache, imagine keeping track of exchanges with so many students!
The market lady performed an outstanding job. ODA supplies students name sex and age and they pack at approximate size levels. Can you imagine how many exchanges were made on shirts, shorts, skirts with 1200 students, and in such a short timeframe to beat the intense mid afternoon heat! She and her family team deserve a medal!
So proud of their gleaming uniforms and can't wait to get back to school.
Electronics are always dicey in Cambodia, and sure enough the electricity failed after the initial welcoming speeches, so no loud speaker to direct students to the various areas and manage movement of students.
Our plans to photograph students from various schools for you, just flew out the window or more accurately through the palm fronds and pagoda gates as they poured excitedly through on their way home to show off their sparkling new uniforms to neighbours and friends! Leng and the teachers attempts to redirect them back without speakers were drowned out by the loud happy hullabaloo, so apologies for no specific other school groups for you, all just included in these pics
Huge relief when it's all successfully completed by our wonderful teacher team.
Huge thanks from Leng to Sophan our Village Liaison manager, Po ODA Schools Manager, and all our teachers whose planning and execution got us through an amazingly Covid complicated and challenging lead up and day. So many government students, teachers and parents to guide through, as well as managing their own students.
But the day belongs to you!
So many youngsters who had resigned themselves to dropping out of school. To be given the gift of a year at school is beyond their wildest dreams.
You’ve given them not only education, but instilled in them hope and confidence that despite Covid, maybe they will be able to improve their future lives after all!
AKUN MOKA PHNOM (THANKS AS BIG AS A MOUNTAIN )
FOR YOUR WONDERFUL KINDNESS TO THESE VILLAGE YOUNGSTERS.
Kids in Cambodia just love a photo shoot and gather around you after, clamouring to view it