Here at CFC, we are not only proud of how we impact the lives of our 6,600 students but how our successes have a ripple effect on Cambodia as a whole. Next month, as Cambodia returns to school, those ripples are getting even bigger!The Cambodia Ministry of Education has announced it is moving forward to implement a nationwide kindergarten program based on the curriculum it has developed in conjunction with CFC!
"This is such an important development for Cambodia and we are proud to be leaders in assisting the Ministry of Education. Early childhood learning helps kids become good students and increases the likelihood that they will stay in school. We know this at CFC and have made ECL a priority for many years."
~ Ung Savy, Superintendent of Schools and Country Director
Until now, kindergarten and other early childhood learning programs in Cambodia have been outside the state run public school system. As a result, programs are run by local villages and lack a standardized curriculum to prepare students for later education. They are also frequently underfunded.
The MOE says it plans to incorporate about 600 of the existing community kindergartens into the state system this year with more added each year until the goal of 100 percent enrollment of children aged 5 is achieved by 2030.
CFC began its early childhood learning program in 2006and has seen incredible results ever since. Our program is designed to support mothers and teach them skills they were not able to learn from their own families due to genocide and poverty. Early childhood learning at CFC provides children and families with resources for health, nutrition, early skills building and more.
Your support of CFC helps students across Cambodia!
2019 Marathon Planning Underway!
CFC staff and their families are working hard to plan for the 2019 Race to Better Education! Once again, CFC supporters from across the world will join local staff and students in the December 8th Angkor Wat International Half Marathon. CFC Deputy Country Director Rebecca Large reports that fundraising efforts are already off to a great start in Siem Reap.
In its third year our Race to Education has become an important event, allowing CFC staff, families and alumni to come together to raise funds for their schools and furthering the community support of those schools.
"We are very proud of the many people here in Siem Reap who are running for our schools and for the generous support of CFC donors worldwide on their behalf"
-~ Ung Savy, CFC's Superintendent of Schools and Country Director
Stay tuned for updates and check our website to support your favorite runner or create your own fundraising page and ask your friends and family to support you!
CFC Campuses Receive
Much Needed Improvements
The school break has been a very busy one across ten CFC campuses as some much needed maintenance and improvement projects were completed. In all, more than $40,000 of improvements were made to the schools. Projects ranged from installing new classroom equipment to repairing roofs and building new study huts and bathroom facilities. A full time maintenance person has also been hired to ensure buildings are maintained as needed across all CFC campuses.
"These improvements are critical to providing our students with an environment that is conducive to learning and we are constantly looking for ways to upgrade our campuses and thanks to our donors, our students and staff are safe and have the facilities they need to focus on learning" ~ Jamie Amelio, CFC's Founder
Our students will be delighted to find their classrooms and campuses improved when they return next month!
Gender Equity Team Reaches Out
To Preschool Mothers and Caregivers
CFC's Gender Equity Program staff have spent the last three months working closely with the Early Childhood Education Program in yet another example of the integral role these programs plays in our outreach to the community and the success of our students.
Eight community dialogues were hosted by CFC staff to discuss gender based violence with mothers and caregivers. More than 200 people, including nineteen men, attended the discussions which also touched on the importance of education for both boys and girls, parents' responsibilities in assisting their child's studying, and how an early start in school can help children get ahead.
The Gender Equity team also conducted home visits for more than 60 students resulting in increased commitments from parents to encourage and assist their children with their studies. Parents are often busy with working outside the home to earn money that they are unaware of their child's academic situation. These recent home visits resulted in 25 students, including seven girls, returning to school thanks to the staff's emphasis on the importance of education with the students and their parents. This is largely thanks to the attentive and determined approach of CFC staff members who continue to deliver the message of the importance of education in a child's and a family's future.
Sara Wunsch reflects on Gender Equity Program's Amazing Growth
Early supporters of the Gender Equity program include the Fite Family and the Wunsch Family, and recently our team in Siem Reap was lucky enough to get a visit from Sara Wunsch and her daughter Katie!
Visiting for the first time in four years, Sara was thrilled to see the amazing progress the department has made since its early days and to see the difference these years of dedication have had on the students. She was also happy to reunite with an old friend.
"A huge joy for me was reuniting with Hem Kak. She embodied so much of what we wanted in our staff for this new program and we were lucky to hire and train her for the Female Advisor role."
Gender Equity Program Manager Yong Channa gave an update on the department's current projects and they all held a brainstorming session with a look to the future. We are grateful that Sara is eager to continue her collaboration with the Gender Equity team.
"It was fun to see photos of Gender Equity events we had organized in 2013
when female students barely knew each other and they were hesitant to talk
out loud. Now we observed both female and male students presenting their own ideas about gender equity with relative ease and confidence as their
fellow students listened and applauded!" ~ Sara Wunsch
Student Councils Share
Successes and Build Community!
For the fifth consecutive year, student councils from Aranh Sakor and Bakong High Schools as well as Aranh Cuthbert and Bakong Motwani Junior High Schools came together recently to share and discuss their experiences and successes from the last year.
Ninety students shared examples of activities they had conducted at their respective schools to not only give each other ideas of what worked well but also to strengthen the bonds between the schools and the larger community.
Mr. Sin Samnang, a former Bakong High School Principal and current representative of the Bakong school district, addressed the students and motivated the students to be active, responsible and work as team.
Students made presentations to the larger group, complete with visual aids and Q&A sessions as well as participated in small group discussions and workshops. Coordinated by the Career Preparation team and the school principals, this event builds camaraderie among the various campuses and gives students an opportunity to practice communication skills that will be useful in their future endeavors.
Highlights From Volunteer Service Trips
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!
It didn't take long after hearing about CFC for Claire Lawrie to decide she wanted to see the schools for herself and take her six-year-old daughter Eryn along!
When Eryn's birthday party came along, they decided to swap party bags for school backpacks to donate to CFC students. They packed the bags, along with more than 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of donations from her office, American Express Business Travel (Singapore), and journeyed to Siem Reap. While there they participated in Food for Thought and visited two CFC schools. Thank you Claire and Eryn!
"We talk about our trip frequently to remind ourselves how we can help others and be thankful of our lives we lead. For me it was a wonderful experience especially I loved hearing that CFC stays in partnership with the schools for their lifetime, and I could see this with the new improvements both schools were planning." ~ Claire Lawrie
Stephanie Wehner (Dubai)...CFC's ESL Program enjoyed a visit from Stephanie Wehner, an English teacher based in Dubai, who volunteered time in our classrooms helping students and coaching teachers on best practices for ESL instruction.
Teachers learned how to better help their students develop and increase skills in speaking, writing and reading English. The importance of listening to different English speakers was also emphasized as a way of helping ESL students become accustomed to hearing and understanding different accents. CFC is working hard to make this program even more robust and the efforts of volunteers like Stephanie are much appreciated!
Thank you Stephanie for your time and contributions!
Global Education Allies (GEA) conducts professional development excursions across the world for hundreds of teachers, and this summer, Associate Director Aino Larsen led a team of educators on a trip to Cambodia. The group organized a personal fundraiser before arriving and raised $2,500 to support CFC libraries. During their stay, they were able to visit several CFC schools.
not only brought ideas for CFC teachers and administrators but took from the experience lessons for their own classrooms.
Their trip began with a visit to one of CFC's preschools for a look at how the CFC early childhood learning program prepares students and families for success.
“It was great to see how the parents were involved in the preschool, The lesson was geared more towards training parents so that they had the skills to teach their children. I also loved how it was a community there, as opposed to a place where you just send your kids or you just go to learn. It seemed that everyone was friends.”
~ Ben Tillotson (GEA)
Visiting the Aranh campus, the teachers broke into small groups and paired with their CFC counterparts to learn about each other's work and share ideas. The group enjoyed seeing their donation of Khmer early-reading books being put to use in the school library.
“We were really impressed by our welcome. The CFC students are great ambassadors for their schools! As always, it was interesting to see the many ways our experiences as teachers are similar, no matter where we teach."
Thank you Global Education Allies!
Bakong High School Celebrates
Bakong High School is very proud to recognize nine teachers who have given 30 or more years of service as educators to the community!
CFC Superintendent of Schools and Cambodia Country Director Ung Savy (center) noted that this group is an important resource within the Bakong community as the teachers were among the first educators in the community when the school opened. They have certainly seen a lot of change as Bakong High School has grown from a single building to the beautiful campus it is today.
The teachers report that they are proud not only to have served the community for so long but also to see so many of their former students now serving as young teachers themselves!