The second in our series of blog posts from Aimia, the team share their perspectives on their first week in Cambodia, helping to deliver our programs in Battambang. The group supported with a number of community outreach activities as well as school repairs and improvement works as part of our Better Schools program.
The next three days consisted of community outreach in three different schools: Sdey Krom, Sdey Leur and Prek Norin. As part of our School Development Program, the activities undertaken by the project team were agreed in advance by the school and members of the local community, based on their needs. A mixture of physical labour and artistic talents were thus on display.
On the 22nd, the team travelled to Sdey Krom primary school, located 15 kilometers outside of Battambang, where they were greeted by 100 students, ready for their art activity. Gabrielle from the project team shares her thoughts.
‘Reasmey, an employee at SeeBeyondBorders, greeted us with a big smile at the school. Pastels and water colour butterflies were the first task for the kids. These children had never used water colour before, making it a very exciting activity for them. Once finished, the butterflies were all framed and hung on the wall. Our day at the school was topped off with several games, including duck-duck goose and even some singing.
After a busy day, we all reflected on the day’s activities. The Aimia group shared their reflections, noting how much fun the children had, and how sports and games had helped them to bridge cultural and language boundaries. Some said they had found the experience very humbling.
The day after, we all travelled to Sdey Leur primary school ready to lay concrete in two classrooms and create a walkway. We all introduced ourselves and started. We finished concreting the classroom two hours ahead of time, a feat that the SeeBeyondBorders staff were very impressed with. We then had lunch with the local community, who had cooked us an amazing meal: a mixture of fresh water fish, vegetables and rice.
Another day, another reflection session. This time we discussed how important community involvement is with the school, and how creating something tangible was very rewarding, especially as the school had been built in 1994.
On the 24th, we squeezed into the back of a van to Prek Norin primary school. Three activities were awaiting us, including painting toilets, repairing student’s desks and creating a walkway with grit and mud. The school and local community had prioritized these three tasks, and were ready and waiting for Aimia to arrive and help them with the realization of these projects. We split into three groups and everyone carried out their respective tasks. The children even came to help! Another amazing community lunch was organized, which gave us a chance to regain some strength. After another long afternoon finishing our tasks, we all returned to the hotel before heading towards the Battambang circus. It was seriously impressive!’
Check back soon for more updates from the Aimia team!