Community Meeting in Toul Sre

On Monday, Allyn and I left Phnom Penh and traveled by bus to the city of Kampong Cham (the capital of the province of the same name). We met Kiet in Kampong Cham (his hometown) and traveled to the village of Toul Sre by moto. World Hope has built two wells and is sponsoring an agricultural project in this very rural village. There is no school in Toul Sre, and so the 80+ school-age children here are not receiving any formal education. The community asked World Hope to help them build a school, so we are investigating the possibilities. We went to Toul Sre to see the progress of the agricultural project and to hear from the community about their ideas for a school. Because of a miscommunication, Allyn, Kiet, and I arrived at the community meeting over an hour late, but everyone was still gathered. Allyn facilitated the discussion very well and divided the adults into small groups to draw out their ideas for the school on some large sheets of paper she brought. The groups presented their ideas to the community, and amid the laughter, friendly banter, and applause, the three of us gleaned some helpful information that will guide the structuring of this school project.Homes in Toul Sre

Allyn and I spent the night with a Wesleyan pastor and his family. On Tuesday morning, we spent some time with Kiet’s family in Kampong Cham, and then Allyn and I took the scenic four-hour bus ride to the town of Kratie.

In Kratie, World Hope has a school and a latrine project. The school holds English and computer classes in the evenings and currently doubles as the Wesleyan church. Pastor Titus teaches the English classes usually, but he invited me to teach two classes on Wednesday night. The Cambodian teaching style is very lecture based. The students are expected to write down the lectures and memorize them. Student teacher interaction is quite limited. I enjoyed prying the shy students out of their shells. I’m certain I looked like a fool doing it, but by the end of the class the students were interacting, so hey! Small victories! 🙂

Allyn would like to see the school in Kratie become self-sustaining- able to pay its own bills and teacher fees from its income. Before this can happen however, there may need to be an increase in the student fees. Allyn and I did some research at the government school nearby and found that our current student fees are well below that of the government English classes. There is room for the school to increase the fee and still remain very competitive.

Allyn and I also had the opportunity to see how the latrines are coming. Upwards of twenty families will receive materials to build latrines by the end of the first phase of this project. We visited four homes where the latrines have been dug and are nearly completed. One latrine had been completed, but the woman has not used it yet because she still needs to put up some walls around it. 🙂

This morning, we got on the bus for the 7 hour trip back to Phnom Penh. This trip was very insightful and got the wheels turning in my brain.

Wheels…

turning…

turning…

turning……

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About Jennie Joy

I'm a lover and truth-seeker. This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts, struggles, and sincere searchings as I get to know God and welcome the reality of His kingdom in and through me.

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