CFC's two high schools are some of the only ones in the country that prepare students to learn the skills needed for success in growth fields in Cambodia. Our Career Preparation Program focuses on helping our graduates secure jobs or pursue higher education and training. In addition to concrete skills such as ICT and ESL, CFC students regularly attend classes that teach interpersonal and effective communication skills, team work and practical matters, such as how to complete job and scholarship applications.
University visits and career fairs expose our students to exciting opportunities, providing inspiration and a real glimpse at post-graduate possibilities. At left, students pose with Career Preparation Coordinator Meas Jeudy outside the University of Cambodian in Phnom Penh.
In early June, the Career Preparation team held a two-day career fair event at Aranh Sakor High School and Bakong High School, attracting approximately 2,200 students from seventh to twelfth grade. Students had the opportunity to meet with representatives from 24 different companies, universities, local businesses, non-profits and professional training schools. This year’s fair – the tenth annual – attracted more students and speakers than last year, and all participants were eager and confident to engage in conversations. Events like this are great examples of CFC’s focus on seeing it through, educating our students to be productive and contributing members after graduation.
"I asked a lot of questions about how to prepare myself before I graduate high school. I feel that I learned a lot about the job market and now I feel clear about what I want to do when I graduate." ~ Vannk, 12th grader
CFC’s Gender Equity and ICT Programs also collaborated on this year's fair with tables and exhibits highlighting their departments offerings, encouraging participants to engage and explore these topics in more detail.
Introducing our new Career Preparation Coordinator
In late April, CFC welcomed Meas Jeudy as Career Preparation Coordinator for CFC’s two junior high schools and two high schools. Educated in Phnom Penh, including a university degree in Computer Science, Jeudy has many years of work experience for Market Lucky Company and South Asia Telecom Company. His combined experiences in higher education and corporate work make him well qualified for this role.
Jeudy was attracted to CFC because of our reputation and close partnership with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport in developing child-friendly and forward-looking curriculum. Another selling point was CFC’s commitment to its teaching staff with investments in professional development, workshops, and coaching sessions. In his first few months, Jeudy has discovered that "CFC students are well prepared both with regards to soft skills like teamwork and problem solving as well as concrete skills in ESL and ICT disciplines." He is eager to help Cambodian high school students prepare for further study and careers. Welcome to the team, Jeudy!
Update on Health Education Program
CFC’s comprehensive Health Education Program works with teachers, students and the wider CFC community to educate them on proper hygiene and personal care, and to reinforce classroom instruction with practical advice and trainings.
In the past few months, health classes were held for more than 2,300 junior high and high school students, covering important topics such as cervical cancer, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, vaccinations and reproductive health.
In addition, school health staff cooperated with the Early Childhood Education team to provide training sessions to 24 preschool teachers and assistants on dengue fever prevention and the techniques and benefits of proper hand-washing. Educating our teachers helps to educate our students and our parent communities, providing vital health care knowledge to those who need it.
Our Health Education Program is supported by an incredible team of international volunteers who periodically travel to our schools to conduct routine BMI and vision screenings. In late June, screenings were completed for 1,046 students at the Aranh campus with 14 students identified for further vision screenings and 42 students identified for nutritional follow-up due to low BMIs. Special thanks to International Medical Clinic (Singapore) for continued support, contributions and expertise!
Thank you to our volunteers and Cambodian staff
for their continued efforts to keep our students healthy!
Completing the circle: Former CFC student returns to teach
We are so proud to introduce our newest ESL teacher and former student, Chhoent Chanty. A graduate of Arahn Sakor High School and a participant in the 2017 First Global Robotics Challenge in Washington, DC, Chanty will be teaching at the Spien Chreav Amelio Primary School. When asked why she wanted to return to CFC as a teacher, she shared: "I love working with children and I know CFC works to improve education for Cambodia's children."
Welcome to the team, and welcome home to CFC!
Libertyville High School leaves lasting impressions
Returning for their third service trip in early June, students from Libertyville High School, led by dynamic teacher Tiffany Owens, teamed together on numerous projects across multiple CFC campuses. Libertyville students had worked tirelessly during their school year to raise funds to support their trip, and all were excited to put their plans into action.
To say that these students worked hard would be a major understatement. Their work days were spent shoveling and carrying loads of dirt for the foundation of a new school building and sports court, carrying and leveling sand to prepare for paving stones to make new walkways, and building and painting bulletin boards. Not only did they complete their three planned projects, but they were able to start on a fourth project at Kong Much Primary School - an unanticipated bonus for everyone, but especially for Kong Much!
When they weren't sweating it out over piles of dirt and sand, Libertyville students enjoyed time assisting with primary school ESL lessons.
The trip offered Libertyville students an unforgettable immersion in Cambodian culture as they explored new foods, historic temples and museums, shopping, and even fish spas! Their extended stay also provided ample opportunities to interact with CFC students through village ramble tours, sports games and conversations. No doubt, Libertyville left a lasting impression on our school grounds and in the hearts and minds of our students.
Thank you Libertyville - you are all truly part of our orange family!
Reading Day celebrates literacy across all grades
On June 13th, all CFC schools participated in our first "CFC Reading Day" with three main events: reading for primary schools, poetry for junior high schools and writing for high schools. All events encouraged a love of literacy!
CFC actively promotes literacy at all schools with well-appointed and well-visited libraries on all campuses. Trained librarians teach students habits and techniques that encourage a higher quality of reading and library use. For those students who struggle to maintain grade-level reading standards, CFC offers academic support in all grade levels. Expanding access and a love for reading beyond the classroom is another way CFC promotes literacy. Recently, CFC preschools have started a program that allows parents to borrow storybooks to read to their children at home.
Partnering with Asia Foundation to enhance literacy efforts...
Representatives from Asia Foundation visited our Aranh campus in June to discuss ways to further promote reading with our schools and encourage parental involvement. Asia Foundation has developed an app called “Let's Read!” which includes many books written in Khmer and which can be a useful tool for schools, communities and parents. CFC has been testing “Let’s Read!” with our librarians, mentor teachers and ECE staff, and we were able to share our experience with Asia Foundation during their visit. The group also discussed how to integrate Let’s Read! into our community outreach projects and professional development for CFC teachers that would focus on how to use the app and better integrate read-aloud sessions into the classroom.
Thank you Asia Foundation!
Highlights from volunteer service trips
Over the summer months, CFC welcomes visitors from all over the globe who travel to Siem Reap to tour our campuses, complete volunteer projects, donate materials, and interact with our students through Food for Thought. We are forever grateful for your time and contributions, and we hope you found the experience equally impactful. Thank you!
Abe Pachikara and his two teen-aged sons, Paul and Siddhartha, visited our schools in July from their home in Seattle,Washington. While his sons helped to serve breakfast, Abe volunteered his photography skills to capture images of students and schools for CFC, and in doing so, he was able to glimpse the true rhythms of a typical day at a CFC school.
"I came away with a sense that it's not just 6,600 students being taught, but 6,600 futures being created. Walking from one grade level classroom to the next, I saw energetic kids transform into thoughtful teens and purposeful young adults - not unlike a kid in Hong Kong or Palo Alto. Education gave them a sense of what is possible. What's the value of one person who understands this and takes inspired action? Now multiply by 6,600 and you can see something of massive value, both to each of these individuals, and to Cambodia. That's what struck me the most about these programs - education will create future influencers that carve a new path in their communities."
To read the full version of Abe's volunteer reflections, please click here to access our website blog. Prior to their trip, Abe's personal fundraising campaign raised just over USD$7800 - enough to send 43 children to school for an entire year! Thank you Abe, Paul and Siddhartha for your generous and thoughtful contributions!
In early June, Christian Underwood led a group of forty-four volunteers from Illinois on a service trip that focused on projects at Bakong Motwani Junior High School and Kravaan Primary School. This was the second trip that Christian Underwood has organized to support CFC, and this year's group brought incredible energy to their work: filling concrete roads and creating gardens at Bakong, and building fences and laying paving stones at Kravaan. Generous donations provided funding for these projects and contributed to a new water filter at Bakong. The group also enjoyed lively interactions with CFC students during a village ramble scavenger hunt and time playing sports.
The Finelli Family traveled from their current home in Milan, Italy and worked at Kravaan Primary School, building part of a fence and spreading large piles of dirt for future projects. They graciously transported bags of donations and started early one morning with serving breakfast as part of our Food for Thought program.
Visiting from Singapore, friends Nicky Cole and Samantha Windebank were pleased to share their volunteer experience with their young daughters (friends since preschool age!) who gained a greater understanding for what it is like to go to school in Cambodia. They painted stools to brighten up CFC classrooms, and were even helped by CFC students after morning sessions had ended.
"The smiles on the children's faces and the pride they clearly had, in not just their own personal presentation, but in the school itself, was impressive and very humbling."
Even in May, Jonathan & Johanna Leonhardt of Ontario, Canada had to brave the Cambodian summer temperatures while they worked at Bakong Motwani Junior High campus to paint cafeteria tables and garden walls. They also participated in an early morning Food for Thought where they could see their newly painted tables put to use.
Thank you Leonhardts!
Meet our dynamic on-the-ground team
These three amazing leaders make it ALL happen for our schools - working on the ground in Siem Reap and in Singapore! They were together in Siem Reap in late Spring for working sessions, continuing to seek ways to grow and improve.
From left to right: Renee France (Singapore Operations Manager); Ung Savy (Superintendent of Schools and Country Director, Cambodia); Rebecca Large (Deputy Country Director, Cambodia).
Thank you Renee, Ung Savy and Rebecca!
Following are observations shared by Renee France:
“There is so much change being driven by Cambodian people themselves within CFC. It was humbling to talk to my colleagues and to find out about their own experiences of education in Cambodia and how hard they are working to make a difference for future generations. Seeing parents bring their children for a nutritious breakfast and watching children fill water bottles to bring clean water from school home to their families was very emotional. It made me reflect on my own children and the things we take for granted in our lives. I came away from Siem Reap with a renewed sense of how CFC volunteers in Singapore can really contribute to supporting our schools and can help Cambodian people make changes in their communities for the better.”