Rural Cambodia school service for partnering International Schools

In March 2016, students from the Hilversum International School, Netherlands, took part in a 10 day trip to Cambodia with a focus on community service.  Nature Ed.’s trip to the Stung Treng region of Northern Cambodia take groups deep into rural life along the Mekong River.  Here the Hilversum students worked for 4 days to help improve the conditions at a rural school across the road from the Mekong Bird Resort.  A traditional thatched roofed ‘sala’ was requested by the school but, by the afternoon of the first day of service, this eager group of helping hands was interested in doing more.  Behind the school a large wooden classroom structure was lying in disarray, the dirt floor exposed by the missing roof panels and open window panes, it was no place for children to be studying.  The Hilversum students set a plan to restore this dilapidated building into an inviting classroom where the already interested local Cambodia students could come to study.

The group of 24 students had raised an impressive 7,440 USD as a donation toward their CAS Trip Service Project.  With this money they were able fund renovations at the school and are also financially supporting our team member, Ty, a local Cambodian with excellent English skills, to teach English language at the school for one year!  During their 4 days the group was able to build the playground ‘sala,’  lay concrete to cover the dirt floor in the wooden building, fix the windows and roof, and paint the inside with murals to make this a truly magical learning environment for these rural children!

This fundraising by Hilversum also supported the purchase of equipment for a water system, which was completed by students from International School Kuala Lumpur as part of their Global Citizens Week service project.  This joint effort of these two international schools was able to bring the first running water to this school, and a hand washing station to promote better hygiene.

Since their departure, Ty, has been dedicated to his job as resident English Teacher, even bringing guests of the resort to come practice speaking English with his students.  This support by Hilversum is helping a broad group by sustaining an English teacher and an individual by supporting, Ty, to finish his education at the local university.

This joint service project is a great example of how a focus on service can go a long way in supporting and uplifting the rural communities that we visit!  Thank you to all who participated in this project’s success!