Pioneering preschool in poor Cambodian villages

Posted on June 12, 2018

Chan in the Classroom - Action on Poverty

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.

Class Activity

Building strong foundations

We worked with the Cambodian Organization for Children and Development 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. 

Teacher and Class Engagement

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.”

Want to help more children access early education? Give a tax-deductible gift to educate and empower children like Chan.