Chan's story: I want to be a doctor one day

Chan is a 5-year-old girl from a poor village in Kampot Province. Due to her remote location, she couldn’t attend preschool.

Unfortunately, many Cambodian children in poor villages stay at home or go to work with their parents because they have no access to preschool. They are deprived of important opportunities to play, develop social skills, and receive the basic education.

This leads to high drop-out rates once they enrol in primary school. Girls in particular often leave school early to find work to support their families – putting themselves at risk of exploitation.

Chan in class during playtime - Action on Poverty

Building strong foundations

We worked with the Cambodian Organization for Children and Development (CODC) to open 26 preschools as part of the Good Start Project.

These schools now have 642 students enrolled, including 335 girls, in some of the most disadvantaged villages in Pursat and Kampot Provinces.

Chan and other children playing in class - Action on Poverty

Chan has now been attending preschool for one year. She loves to read and draw, and wants to become a doctor one day! She can count, and knows the Khmer alphabet.

Chan receives a snack and clean drinking water at school every day. The local health centre also conducts regular health checks for all students.

Schoolchildren learning in class - Action on Poverty

It takes a village

Good Start Preschools are designed to bring parents, teachers and communities together for shared learning. Parents have the opportunity to learn about child development, while teachers are supported in their own professional development.

“The students enjoy the class and learn a lot,” said Mrs Peng Kunthea, Chan’s teacher. “I’m proud of my students and I love my job.”

Donate now to send more children like Chan to preschool in Cambodia.


Sustainable Development Goals

1. No Poverty - Action on Poverty  3. Good Health and Well-Being - Action on Poverty  4. Quality Education - Action on Poverty  5. Gender Equality - Action on Poverty

6. Clean Water and Sanitation - Action on Poverty  10. Reduced Inequalities - Action on Poverty  17. Partnerships for the Goals - Action on Poverty

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