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2018 MOBILE LEARNING SERVICES
'If they don't go to school, let's take the school to them!'
The principle is very simple: a motorbike pulls a trailer containing all the equipment needed to teach anywhere. The narrow and sturdy design means that it can go in any street or countryside road. On location, the kids sit on a tarp on the floor beside the trailer and the lessons can start!
• The new unit would serve many purposes:
• Carry children safely to the DoC school in the area. This ensures that kids don’t drop out so easy and are at less risks of accidents, use of drugs, abuse and trafficking
• After that, the unit will bring the teacher and the teaching materials to areas such as slums where kids would not otherwise go to school
• On available days, it can be used as a community-serving transport for emergency cases, visit the sick and the poor, special training for adults wanting to learn new skills (incl. literacy)
If 70 of us give the equivalent of $10 a month, more than 100 Cambodian children will benefit from this service in slump areas.
Too many children in Phnom Penh do not attend school because:
• Their parents don’t see academic education as a need
• They need to help their parents to make a living or look after siblings
• They are too dirty or smelly
• They have attended some years but dropped out
• Got into working in the streets, garbage foraging…etc
• Their parents do not have the necessary paperwork to enroll their kids in school
• They have been migrating where there is lucrative jobs such as factory and construction workers
• They don’t have the money to buy the school uniforms and the stationary; or to pay for the ‘extra fees’ to the teachers
• They are neglected by their parents or alone and have nobody to motivate them to go to school
• They have missed several months or even years and
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This is a new project proposed by our President Linda Franks. When she visited Cambodia in 2016, she was very touched by how this service: 'a mobile school unit' could change the lives of so many children and their parents! Some funds were donated at the beginning of 2017 to the Daughters of Charity to build a second unit and so Linda presented the project to the AKUN Board in March 2017. It was voted to help the launching of the new unit by funding the first 3 months of basic operational costs ($2100). The Rotary Club of Banchory-Ternan (of which Linda Franks is a member) has now funded this project for 2018 till 2019.
• Country in South East Asia with Capital city: Phnom Penh
• The regime of Pol Pot killed about 2 million Khmer people in 3 years and left many traumatised and sick. The new generations are still struggling from these genocides.
• Now has about 16 million people with a life expectancy at birth of 69 for women and 65 for men.
• 80% of the population lives in countryside. 57% of work force is engaged in agriculture labour. Others in garnment factories and construction work.
• Average monthly salary is $128 for a factory worker.
• Under 5 mortality rate in 2015: 29 per 1,000 live births (4.2 in the UK)
• Main concerns: still lots of avoidable diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, yellow fever, diphteria, malaria…. Domestic abuse, use of drugs and prostitution, trafficking of women and children, avoidable accidents, need of better healthcare and education.
• I have been going for 9 years and can see an improvement. But it is slow and relies a lot on international help.
How can we help?
• Operational costs of this unit: about £580 or $700 or €690 per month (depending on the fluctuations of the currencies and exchange costs). This includes the salary of the teacher, teacher assistant and driver, petrol, maintenance, snacks for the kids, teaching materials…etc.
• We cannot ask the parents to pay for this service as they don’t even earn enough for their daily subsistence (on a good day, they would earn $5 net)
• This project will rely solely on international charity funds until maybe the Cambodian government helps.
• Very difficult to reach any kind of sustainability in the near future.
• Relatively low costs to have a very high impacts on many children (130 children attend the Lindalva Centre, about 100 children would be served in the slums and many adults too for various activities).
• This is an investment in the future of this new generation by educating them and giving them hope to have a better life that what they have now.