Chan, 5, lives in a poor, remote village in Kampot Province. With no preschools nearby, she was missing out on a vital early education.
Unfortunately, many Cambodian children in rural areas are forced to stay home or go to work with their parents because there are no local preschools. They are deprived of important opportunities to play, develop social skills, and receive a 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.
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 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.
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.