The AIMIA team made their last two visits to schools in the Siem Reap district. They carried out an art visioning program and a health day, to highlight the importance of education as an agent of change. AIMIA finished their volunteering work with some new perspectives on education and its impact.
We dedicated Thursday 1st of December to Peaksneng primary school and the art visioning program. More than 80 community members showed up, breaking the record previously set at Sonn Dann primary school. This is quite remarkable considering a lot of the community are prioritizing this event over work and their subsistence farming.
For one of the activities, we threw around a ball of wool, each holding a piece of string, as a means of introduction. This was a good game to enable us to communicate with each other despite the language barriers.
We then moved onto the art visioning activity. Many people in the community had never held a pen or a paintbrush before. They drew what they wanted their children’s future to look like and their view of a safe school.
Both these activities allowed the community members to think critically about education and how it can help their children’s goals to be achieved. As for the safety of the school, simple things such as stopping the cows from entering school grounds were mentioned, as well as building fences to prevent children from running out on to traffic. These are things that we don’t even consider at home: simple safety measures that we completely take for granted.
Gabrielle, James H and I made the most of being in close contact with the community and heard about some heartbreaking stories of the impact of the Pol Pot regime on their families’ lives.
The following day we went to Sras primary school and helped facilitate a day of health activities. The day was broken down, like in Rohalsoung Kert primary school in Battambang, between health and weight measuring, teeth-cleaning and handwashing. Unlike last week, this school was in a much poorer district and seeing these children without any shoes, dirty uniforms and headlice was eye opening. Unfortunately, there is only so much one can do, and SeeBeyondBorders continues to support this school as best it can for the third year running.
Thank you to everyone for all their support. Both to those who supported us in the past year and the AIMIA team on the ground. The work of the SeeBeyondBorders team is also astounding, change whilst being a slow process is only possible one step at a time. Change most certainly begins with education.