On March 24, 2013, students from Hong Kong’s Concordia International School (“CIS”) arrived at the Phnom Penh International Airport with excitement and enthusiasm for their first service trip to Cambodia. CIS worked at the Kranglovear Primary School in Kampong Chhnang province for three days. The team consisted of 14 students and 1 teacher and they were tasked with three different projects. The students conducted an English camp, painted a mural, and provided training and awareness on personal hygiene with a focus on hand washing, clean water and teeth brushing.
The English team presented lessons in English conversation along with songs and games to help the students learn quickly. The A-B-C song excited the students and they enjoyed singing the song as they learned English.
The hygiene team worked hard to introduce and raise awareness on personal hygiene which was not an easy thing for the young children to understand. As understood from our baseline survey, more than half of the Grade 1 students did not brush their teeth or wash their hands daily. The children were excited to learn and practice washing their hands and brushing their teeth. We hope the 3-day health education will encourage the students to pay attention to their personal hygiene in the future.
Last but not least, with continuous support from the CIS teacher and CWEF staff despite the burning heat, the painting team was able to finish one wall located at the entrance gate of the school. The finished mural read “once the world is without war, there will be nothing but peace, love, joy and hope for all mankind.”
One of the CIS students asked a member of the CWEF staff if their service at the primary school for three days would have a sustainable impact on the school. Although it is difficult to assess the full impact of the team’s service, the CIS students can be sure that their presence made a difference of these young Cambodian students. For example, three water filters were distributed to the school during the trip, which will provide clean water for the students and teachers there for the next five years. The headmaster said: “CIS students were the first team coming to do this kind of work in our school and what they have done has become part of the change in our school.”