The village of Kampong Phluk is an unusual place to live. During the wet season (July-September) the Mekong River becomes so full that its flow is reversed, resulting in the expansion of the Tonle Sap Lake to five times its normal size. Kampong Phluk is flooded and becomes a “floating village”. During this time the only way to travel about the village is by boat. In November the flow of the Mekong river reverses once again and the water begins to recede. By the end of January it is possible to drive to the village by car, motorbike or bicycle. It is a strange sight to see so many houses atop very tall stilts. Five thousand people call this unique place their home. Lvea Village is Pagna’s home village. He was born and raised in this farming community set amid beautiful rice paddies stretching as far as the eye can see. It lies 26km outside of Siem Reap and though it is a quiet, peaceful place to live, the villagers endure great privation and hardship due to lack of resources. This is an extremely poor village that up to now has received no assistance from the government or outside sources. We aim to change that. In December of 2013 we opened a new school in Lvea Village at the request of the villagers. We started teaching under Pagna’s father’s house while we tried to raise enough funds to build a small school. Thanks to many wonderful donors we did it! The new school was built in May of 2014 and we are now teaching almost 200 students. In addition to building the English school, our goal is to institute several community outreaches programs which will benefit the community as a whole rather than just the children. We believe that by offering assistance to family units rather than individual children we can provide a more holistic and sustainable way out of poverty.
Although we succeeded in raising enough funds to build a school we still require donations to complete the project. Here are some of our most urgent needs: two more classrooms – $10,000 a toilet/bathing area for the volunteer quarters – $1200 a well – $200 teachers’ salaries – $560/month desks – we need ten desks to fill a second classroom – $450 books 200 student books and 200 workbooks which cost $2 each – $800 five laptop computers and a printer/copier – $2500 20 tablets – in addition to computer skills, we would like to enhance our students’ reading, spelling, phonics and math skills with educational apps on tablets. Once downloaded, apps don’t require wifi so this would work out very well for us – $4,000 two solar units to power lights for the night class and provide power for the computers – $2468 to fill the land around the school– there is an empty lot of land behind the school that has been used as a rice paddy. We would like to fill this in to make a playground for the kids and to start a garden. It would take approximately 300 tractors full of dirt to fill the land behind the school. The dirt comes from another piece of land Pagna’s father owns behind his house so it is very close and no charge for the dirt just the labor. The charge is $8 per tractor – $2,400.
If you are able to assist us in any way with these expenses, please visit our Support us page to make a donation. As always you will have our undying gratitude and an open invitation to visit the school when you visit our beautiful country.
We are very happy to announce that one of our students, Bhe Sithon, has received an academic sponsorship from Angela Leefe, a kindhearted woman from England.
Sithon is 16 years old and currently attends Grade 8 at Ta Ey Secondary School. She has a thirst for learning and is an outstanding student, ranking first in her Grade 7 class last year. Sithon also attends English classes at Pagna Cambodian Education Fund (PCEF) English school where she assists in teaching the younger students their ABCs. She is the third of eight children and lives with her family in Lvea Village. Sithon’s mother is a homemaker and her father is a rice farmer. Although her father works many long hard hours in the rice fields, he doesn’t earn enough to both support his family and pay for his children’s education. A monthly donation of just $20 can change the entire trajectory of a child’s life. In her scholarship application, Sithon told us, my dream is to study until I graduate from college so that I can help support my whole family. Thanks to the generosity of Angela Leefe, Sithon is well on her way to achieving her dream.
Congratulations Sithon and thank you very much, Angela Leefe!