Seaco Renovates School, Revitalises Dreams

Posted on August 22, 2016

Ankrong, in Cambodia’s Samroung commune, is a small, remote village located nearly 30km from the district centre. The area is isolated and difficult to access due to the rugged, mountainous terrain and undeveloped infrastructure. Scantily populated and with few resources, the village and surrounding area shared the single, run-down Duan Mao Primary School. The building was too small to accommodate all the students, and classes were often cancelled during stormy weather for fear the dilapidated building would collapse.

Before shot

Duan Mao primary school before renovation

 
Students enjoying SEACO songs

Seaco team member taking a break with the students

In May 2016, the Seaco team joined with the Cambodian Organisation for Children and Development (COCD) to renovate the schoolhouse, constructing walls, tiling the roof and painting. The team also installed two toilets and a wash basin, facilities previously lacking at the school, and beautified the grounds by planting trees and flowers and hanging educational signage.

Today, the new Duan Mao Primary School serves 83 first through fourth graders, nearly half of whom are young girls. Teachers have already noticed a marked increase in enthusiasm among the students, who are eager to attend school and meet with their friends. Kimberly*, a fourth grader, said that she no longer fears the school will collapse. The spacious new building provides a sanctuary from outside disturbances, where she says she “can concentrate very well on [her] studies.” Students are attending school on a more regular basis, as parents say they are more confident in their children’s safety while they are at school.

SEACO staff creating educational signs

Seaco staff creating educational signs

The school’s director, Mr Keat Serdy, expressed pride in the new facility and has already requested additional teachers from the Provincial Department of Education. Additionally, the new toilets and wash basin have given children as well as the community to learn about hygiene and sanitation. The schoolhouse has even been used as a community meeting centre to host training sessions and meetings on community health, hygiene and children’s rights.

Students help out in the renovation of their school

Seaco team member getting an extra push

The newly renovated school has inspired the community to get involved in improving education for local children. Along with community members, Mr Serdy plans to encourage enrolment and education throughout the commune. The project has brought more attention, commitment from leaders and engagement from the community. 

It’s only been a few months since Seaco’s visit to Ankrong village, but the positive impacts are clear as the whole community continues to invest in their children’s futures. 

Cambodian students in renovated school

Students enjoying their new school building

*Children’s names have been changed in accordance with our child protection policy.