Mkak Primary School is the initiative of Humanitus Foundation Cambodian affiliate, Bright Children Organisation. Founder, Piseth Luon started the school in 2003 to benefit the school children and general community in Makak and surrounding villages in Seam Reap province. Bright Children Organisation is a not-for profit Cambodian registered Non-Government Organisation and all those working for it do so on a voluntary basis, ensuring all monies raised go directly to projects that benefit both the school and local community. There is a high level of community support and Piseth works closely with the Chief of the Commune, the Chiefs of the villages, the Chief of education and other district officials in the planning and implementing processes. they all work together to determine the future directions of the organisation. Piseth grew up in this village during the time of war when education was minimal and it was dangerous to attend school. Piseth was determined to gain an education and has studied hard and become a role model for his community.
He now wishes the children of his community to have the opportunity to receive an education to develop themselves more fully and have more satisfying lives. Piseth is a great believer in the empowering nature of education and wants students to take responsibility for their learning and feel pride in their accomplishments. Education in Cambodia is not compulsory so it is important to make school fun, pleasurable and interesting to encourage students to attend on a regular basis. The first act of Bright Children School in 2004 was to give each child a kit of exercise books, a ruler, pens, pencils and an eraser. this was continued and extended in 2005 along with talking with students about their futures and the importance of an education.
During this time the numbers of students attending school began to increase steadily. Donations at this time were only from family and friends. There are three teachers at present for the 220 students. Teachers tend not to attend school every day, possibly due to the low wages they receive. Because the teachers assist the World Challenge Organisation they do receive a little extra money. This payment however is only made once yearly. At this point in time Bright Children School does not have the money to supplement teachers wages but hopes in the future to be in a position to do so therefore encouraging them to work every day. In 2006 the World Challenge Organisation became involved and started sending groups of students from the UK and Australia to work with students and carry out improvements at the school and village. This is an on-going, beneficial relationship that Piseth has fostered for the benefit of his community and the school.
Although World Challenge has given sports equipment to the school further sports equipment is required for a broader range of activities. In 2007, planning began to build a library. The goals of the library were to provide a valuable resource for the school, to create a community centre and to provide reading activities for the village community. Piseths father-in-law, an engineer, drew up the plans. The money was donated by family and work began in the dry season of 2008. Although a builder was employed to oversee the work, the villagers work tirelessly to build the library. Friends donated money for books and the library was officially opened in July 2008. When the library was opened the level of community support was evident in the numbers of people who attended the ceremony. This level of community involvement and interest has been evident in all previous projects carried out by BCA. Unfortunately due to termite infestations the library has had to be rebuilt.
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