According to UNESCO data, there are approximately 63 million primary-level out of school children (OOSC) worldwide and, together with EAC, UWS aims to improve education access to some of the most marginalised through the ‘Southeast Asia School Development Project for OOSC’. For instance, UWS works where there are no schools within 2 ½-hour walking distance. Leakhana, the local representative, has walked to households within the locale of Som Roung to encourage families to allow their children to attend school. EAC implements, for its part, a variety of projects across the globe to provide quality primary education to children in need.
The support and buy-in of the target community is indispensable to UWS’ approach to education interventions without which, the organisation cannot proceed with project implementation. After the Som Roung community voted unanimously in favour of this initiative, the village chief commented that, ‘Education will transform the future of our community’.
At Sherborne Qatar, community service is a hallmark principle -- pupils should not only have an understanding of others but should try and do something positive to help those who do not enjoy the same privileges as them and understand the mechanics of how that help is given. Sherborne Qatar seeks to raise US$10,000 to employ three teachers at the Som Roung School and Cambodian regional authorities have agreed to reciprocate. Sherborne Qatar’s parent-teacher association (PTA) has already made a generous, initial donation and commenced various fund-raising activities that will take place across the school throughout the year. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons and form tutorials will explore the issues involved and appropriate age-level pupils will make direct contact with their counterparts in Som Roung. All news received from the Som Roung School will be shared with the Sherborne Qatar community. In due time, Sherborne Qatar staff and pupils will visit Som Roung to see first-hand what is happening on the ground and offer appropriate support.