This past summer, I was fortunate to travel back to Cambodia to visit the primary school that I had previously visited with my high school students from the Athenian School in 2013. My students exhibited their photos from the trip at the Village Theater Art Gallery in Danville last fall, and they donated the proceeds from photography sales to the school in Cambodia. We raised over $2000, and with this money, I was able to purchase the following in local markets:
Composition notebook, pencil, eraser, pen sets for 128 students
New school uniforms for 128 students
New shoes for 128 students
40 handwriting workbooks for the youngest students
50 story books for the older students
10 chapter books for the oldest students
3 new teacher desks custom ordered from the local carpenter
60 sets mathematics equipment (compass, protractor, ruler) and one large teacher demonstration set
New school sign board commissioned by a local artist which will be hand carved and painted
A small cash donation to the Principal of the school with the remaining funds.
I made several trips to various markets and shops to purchase all these supplies with the help of my tour guide, Nak, who was also our guide during our first visit to the school. I also printed out large portraits of the Cambodian students and handed them out to the students at the school. By the time we got back to the school for the second drop off of supplies, parents had arrived to see with their own eyes the tourist who was giving their children school supplies. Children who were absent in the morning were also being rushed to school to get their supplies. I am confident that these students will not be turned away from attending school because they don’t have a complete uniform or proper school supplies. I’m also confident that they now have the resources to learn basic math and reading. It was an honor to represent my high school students as I made this donation. Below are some photos from the trip.