In 1974 I made my first trip to Cambodia as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross. On that occasion I became aware of the very important needs of this country, particularly in terms of education.
Cambodia lacks schools and teachers, especially in remote and poor areas of the country. I created ESC in 2007 to help the country’s development. The association is recognized as a public utility by the Ministry of Education of Cambodia.
Educating Smiling Children
Our choice was community schools rather than private schools, taught exclusively by Khmer teachers with state diplomas according to the official school curriculum. This allows integration into the national school system, with many students joining the public secondary school after a few years spent in an ESC school.
ESC schools cover pre-primary education (3 to 6 years old) within kindergartens as well as all 6 years of primary education.
We intervene at the request of a commune, village or public administration chief, assess the situation and propose a project adapted to the situation.
In these areas, sometimes without access to electricity, we build buildings in the local style: concrete flooring, palm wood or sheet metal walls, sheet metal roofing or cement tiles. The construction of a classroom for 35 students (40m²) corresponds to a budget of about 3500$.
At the end of the school year, the top 5 students in each class receive a bicycle that will often allow them to continue their education in a nearby public school.
- Construction and maintenance of buildings
- Provision of school equipment: two uniforms per year, a backpack, notebooks, books, pencils, slates
- Teachers’ salaries
- An annual medical check-up for all.
Latrines Without Borders is a complementary project that aims to improve the health conditions in which students live. Since 2007 we have been building and maintaining:
- 30 latrines
- 4 water towers
- 9 wells (boreholes & pumps)