9th Grade and Staff Field Trips
9th Grade Field trips
We started to fund annual 9th grade field trips to send village students to the capital of Phnom Penh, a 3-3 1/2 hour drive that many would otherwise never undertake since most village families rely on a bicycle for transport. It is extremely rare for a village family to own a car. Few own a moto, an underpowered motorcycle. Gasoline is expensive, about double US prices, and most families' daily wage is $2-4, so those few families who have motos travel by moto only when absolutely necessary.
Thus, most village students have never seen the sea, even though the former French resort town of Kep that borders the Gulf of Thailand is only a 35 minute drive away.
This is why we created field trips to Phnom Penh and to the seaside town of Kep.
In Phnom Penh, students visit the National Museum and see the actual national treasures from their past that they've read about. They visit the Royal Palace and feel the grandeur of their political heritage. At S 21, the Tuol Sleng Torture Center, they experience the tragic and senseless nature of the recent genocide perpetrated by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.
Ironically, the notorious S 21 killing center was a former high school, located in the heart of the city. Its transformation bears witness in microcosm to the deliberate and systematic destruction of Cambodia's educational system. Their history book devotes a single page to the genocide that has deeply affected every single village family.
They visit Pannasastra University to gain an appreciation for what it's like to go to university. There, they learn from professors what they need to do to attend such a prestigious university.
And, yes, they then visit Aeon Mall, a mammoth shopping complex, where they luxuriate in a wonderful dim sum lunch and eat ice cream, most for the first time.
When the 9th grade students return from their field trip, word spreads about what an amazing experience it was. Thus, the 9th grade field trip provides excellent motivation for younger students to stay in school so they too can have this experience.
(Left): Students visit the downtown high school that the Khmer Rouge turned into the infamous S 21 Tuol Sleng torture center. (Center 2nd left): a student stares at a skull exhibited in the Genocide Museum. (Center 3rd left): students at the National Museum. (Center 3rd right): students at Pannasastra University. (Center 2nd right): at the Aeon Mall enjoying dim sum for the first time. (Right): students experiencing the sea at the former French resort of Kep.
Staff Field Trips
We send the faculty on annual field trip during school vacation in May as a reward for their excellent work. This provides teachers with lasting experiences they can use in their teaching. And further, it's an excellent recruiting tool--only a handful of village schools send teachers on the kind of trips that we provide them. Note: each year we let the teachers choose their trip.
Please click here or on the button below if you want to help fund future field trips.
(Left): Teachers visit the one of the most famous temples in the world, Angkor Wat, imprinted on the national flag. (Center left): Teachers visit Banteay Srei, known for its intricate carving of imagery in sandstone. (Center right): At Bayon, another world famous temple. (Right): Everyone unwinds at night in Siem Reap's downtown streets: those who went told us later that this night was a great time for bonding with each other.
Note: 100% of all donations will be used to fund projects and programs for village students, alumni, teachers, and families. No funds will ever be used to fund administrative expenses or board member travel and expenses.
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