Srean, the School Principal has continued to run informative and educational monthly meetings with the Kuma School parent community. At these meetings the parents have been learning about their children’s progress and learning ways in which they can support their child with positive parenting. They are also taught life skills themselves and given links to services in the wider community with the hope that they will reach out if needed.
In May one of our Kuma fathers sustained an injury in which he almost lost his thumb. He went to the local hospital where there was a Singaporean Doctor on duty volunteering, who administered surgery, saving the thumb. He was told he would need ongoing medication and physiotherapy. The father panicked as he knew he would not be able to afford such treatment and left the hospital.
This is not the first time that one of our Kuma families have gotten into strife and it highlighted the need for some kind of a small fund that can be used to help in emergency circumstances.
This has now been setup and recent visitors have given generously to it. The father has received the ongoing care he needs and is diligently strengthening his hand with exercises. As the main financial support for his family the loss of his hand would have been disastrous for them. We are very happy to have been able to avoid this with help from visitors to Kuma.
In a country that is working to progress beyond a violent past the ongoing education of our staff is extremely important to provide ongoing opportunities to support and sustain both professional and personal growth. It is not only the children that should benefit but the Kuma community. As such, each of our staff are receiving education in their various fields.
We are very lucky to have Mrs Brak Solida, who runs the Teacher Training Centre in Phnom Penh, coming in as a consultant to provide professional development to our young teaching assistants, teachers and ensuring the curriculum sets the children up for their best success.
Our wonderful cooks are going to a cooking school in September to learn new ways in which they can provide nutritious and balanced meals for the children.
Several of our teachers have been taking additional English lessons and enjoy practicing with volunteers and visitors to the school.
The Kuma Cambodia Project listens to both the communities we support and the Cambodian Staff on the ground.
While the response from parents of our first two classes of children has been overwhelmingly positive their arose a need for some kind of education initiative to be put into place for those children who are older but have never received an education.
In June a class of 10 children ranging in age from 8 – 12, started school for the first time. These children are learning the local Khmer curriculum full-time and will be transitioned into the local schools when they reach their age/grade appropriate level. This has been a model that has worked for other NGO’s and we are excited to see our new class’s progress.
As our first two classes of children move up into Grade 2 and 3, we now have a new Grade 1 class of 20 children, who started on June 2nd. While the school academic year doesn’t start until the first of October, these children will benefit from time to accustom to the routines of an educational system and gain basic life skills before starting the academic element of their schooling.