CFC is proud to announce the graduation of the Class of 2016 from Aranh Sakor and Bakong High Schools, our first graduating class of students who have been enrolled in CFC schools from preschool through twelfth grade. Aranh Sakor opened as a brand new school in 2014, a direct result of the desire to provide students with a continuous path from junior high on through twelfth grade. It has been an example of CFC's dedication to high quality secondary education ever since. Bakong High School was integrated into CFC's school network in 2008 as an existing school serving students residing in the larger Bakong community.
These 400 high school students are graduating with academic knowledge and leadership experience as well as useful technical and inter-personal skills. National exam results underscore the value of a CFC education with CFC students earning an 82% pass rate compared with a national average of 62%. National exams are typically more difficult for those students from rural and impoverished communities, like in Siem Reap, making these results all the more impressive.
The Class of 2016 has high hopes for pursuing further education, taking on responsibility and becoming contributing members of their communities. Many of our graduates will be pursuing additional studies or post-graduation vocational programs, including forty students who were awarded state scholarships. Four students received interest free loans from Oasis of Hope (OOH) to study at University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. Started in 2015 by Eddie Chee (pictured below with recipients, parents and key CFC staff members), OOH helps these students with financial expenses, personal skill and technical skills development as well as supplemental conversational English classes.
Congratulations to the entire Class of 2016 -
we wish you every possible success!
Highlighting two successful graduates
While the successes of the Class of 2016 are many - big and small - we are pleased to profile two outstanding graduates who will no doubt soar to great heights in the future!
Graduate Sean Sal(at right) ranked number three in her class at Aranh Sakor High School and plans to attend university. She has learned so much during her time at school, namely how to create academic and life goals while learning important studying techniques that she can apply to her future. According to Sean, "success is not easy, but it is worth it." She is incredibly grateful to her parents, her greatest supporters, and to her teachers for their dedication and endless guidance.
"Icould not imagine where I am today withoutmyteachers. Teachers arelike my second parents. School could not run properly if there were no teachers. They are the ones who guide the way to reach all students’ goals, and who make sure we absorb their knowledge no matter how hard it is to understand."
A familiar face for many volunteers and visitors, Chun Peik(at left) has been a CFC student since his beginning primary school days. At Aranh Sakor High School, he had an active role in Student Youth Council where he learned about leadership, teamwork and the value of communication. Looking back, Chun’s most memorable experience is when he first met CFC Founder Jamie Amelio as a young student and had to write some English words on his hand in order to talk with her. Now, he can speak English confidently. Chun has a keen interest in learning more about the world, and he is incredibly grateful for the useful skills he learned as a CFC student, especially in the Career Preparation and Life Skills programs. Chun is currently interning at CFC-affiliated Bridges Gallery while attending university in Siem Reap.
"A million thanks to CFC for always supporting us with a real education and useful skills. I have learned so many things and not just from course books."
Bravo to both of you -- we can't wait to see where you go next!
Reflections on Gender Equity program
Under the thoughtful guidance of Program Manager Chhum Ratha, CFC's Gender Equity Program reaches girls and boys during the secondary school years and engages them in needed conversations about gender issues. By carving out concentrated time in the school curriculum and prompting community-wide discussions, initiatives like this one are creating positive changes. With a background in social work, Ratha uses his experience to promote gender equity through the entire community and hopes that the program is “a valuable way to empower students to see their value as indivuduals, their strengths, and their right to education access.”
At the end of the school year in September, Gender Equity students gathered for presentations and reflections about what they had learned throughout the year. The following reflections of two students are shared by many in the program and speak to its valuable impact.
Tenth-grader Por Noun wanted a better understanding of gender equality and the use of power, and to understand how self-image could influence self-esteem. She especially enjoyed the interactive simulations and believes the program is great for students to better understand the gender dynamics in Cambodia. “I used to be scared and shy, but I have gained a lot of confidence through the program. I now know my value and have become brave.”
Seventh-grader Sev Yean was interested in how traditional Cambodian gender norms put many women in danger of mental, sexual, and physical abuse. She wanted to learn more about self-image, gender-based violence, gender roles and stereotypes. During the year, she learned to value and encourage others, while also learning to value herself. She believes that education about gender-equality is what will eventually lead to a peaceful, happy, and safe community.
“At the end of session, we wrote the pledge to love, support and accept ourselves. I think we’re all beautiful the same and everyone around us. Our values is not depend on your beauty, body, grade or even number of friends.”
Those are indeed powerful words to live by!
Great teamwork on M.A.D. service trip
The annual October Make-A-Difference service trip brought together an international group of CFC volunteers to work on a fence-building project at Kravann Primary School. Volunteers harkened all the way from India, Korea, Spain, and the United States. The fence project required two days of challenging manual labor, but was an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone. Thank you to all participants!
Be part of CFC's biggest
Race to Better Education!
On December 4th, more than 120 members of our Cambodian team (staff, students, family, and friends) will participate in the Angkor Wat Half-Marathon in Siem Reap -- going that extra mile on behalf of CFC schools in our firstRaceto Better Education!They’ll be going a collective total of roughly 500km to raise $28,000 to support valuable CFC programs!
Please consider making a donation to support the overall event or direct your donation toward one of three Race Teams (Teacher Training, Gender Equity and School Health) each led by a CFC staff member.
About Us - Caring for Cambodia (CFC) is a non-profit, non-governmental, charitable organization that provides a free education for over 6,600 impoverished children in 21 schools spanning pre-school to high school. CFC professionally trains its teachers, and provides everything a child needs to succeed, including food, clean water, uniforms, school supplies, computers, transportation and basic healthcare. CFC relies heavily on global volunteer support which ensures that the majority of dollars raised directly support the education of a child.