Shifting Gears and Covering More Ground in Cambodia
By Aidan McAuliffe
While our operations in Lao PDR and Myanmar may have slowed down over the past 18 months, our team in Cambodia has gone into overdrive by increasing their workload at an unprecedented rate and thus reaching more beneficiaries than ever before.
Our team in Cambodia has gone into overdrive by increasing their workload at an unprecedented rate and thus reaching more beneficiaries than ever before.
The political crisis in Myanmar and COVID-19 travel restrictions between Thailand and Lao PDR have seriously impacted our project operations in those countries. Although the spread of COVID-19 in Cambodia since February of this year has proved unrelenting, our team there has nonetheless found ways to navigate the many obstacles that stand in their way and are on track for a record-breaking year.
So far this year, 26 school building projects in Cambodia have been given the green light, compared to 13 school buildings for the same period in 2020. Our High School Scholarship Programme has also gone up a gear and has seen a massive increase in intake. The programme currently has 390 students enrolled with a further 150 students to be offered places later this year; this represents a 66% increase compared to last year when 325 were enrolled over the entire year.
Our small team in Siem Reap has not only increased the number of children and youth benefitting from programmes, but also the number of training sessions each student directly receives from Child’s Dream as part of the scholarship programme. The experience the team garnered using online tools during the onset of the pandemic in 2020 has enabled them to become more functional and to have greater reach in the process.
Mr. Yem Khlok, the Country Director Child’s Dream Cambodia Organisation (CDCO), has the utmost confidence in the high-quality implementation of such projects despite the unprecedented increase in the workload. In addition to hiring two more staff members this year, he credits the existing staff members who have taken on extra responsibilities this year, supporting their teammates in different departments where needed.
We are hopeful that our projects across the entire region can return to normal in the near future, but for now, we are inspired by the hard work and dedication of our peers in Siem Reap as they go the extra mile to improve children’s education in Cambodia.