International Engagement: Cambodia
2015 was the third and final year of phase I of the Girls Education Initiative. 2015 saw great success in providing many young people with access to secondary, vocational, tertiary and professional education. For many GEI students, 2015 was their final year of high school. After completing their year 12 examinations, many students went on to find employment in their respective careers whilst others have been offered full scholarships at vocational and tertiary institutions in order to continue their studies.
2015 also saw significant improvement in other aspects of the project. Leadership training has provided many students with invaluable skills and school councils are continuing to work towards strengthening and improving the environments at their schools.
Project: Kumbareta Baptist High School (KBHS)
Joshua PeBenito - BSI Partnership Manager
The BSI project has seen significant progress in the area of education advocacy. The Minister of Education has finalized the contract for the replication of the New Generation School (NGS) model that stems from the BSI project for one large high school in Phnom Penh, as well as the development of a policy framework and national survey of potential New Generation School sites. In addition, another new donor, Child Fund Australia, has also adopted and funded the model through KAPE.
Due to the high interest in the NGS model, two key elements that were taken directly from the BSI project were included in the National Education Reform Program that was recently revised by the Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports. The pilot school of the BSI project – The Demonstration School, has also won the runner-up award for the Best School in Cambodia during the Annual National Congress of Education.
Even though the BSI project ends September 2016, it is clear to see that the impact of the project will continue to ripple through the coming years.
2015 marks the third year of Young People for Development (YPfD) and continues to provide opportunities to Battambang’s youth. In 2015 the resource centre has continued to provide youth access to shared learning spaces that have encouraged students to form and run study groups focussed on mathematics in preparation for their 12 exams. Students also have the opportunity to participate in short courses in areas such as leadership, computers, CV writing and goal setting. YPfD also encourages volunteer opportunities, facilitating youth engagement with the broader community with many students becoming involved in PKO and other local NGOs.
The resource centre works holistically and caters to the various needs held by the students. It provides a counsellor available to all students and in 2015, 100% of cases were followed up on. The centre also provides a canteen that offers organic, nutritious food to students and continues to contribute to the financial sustainability for the project. A greenhouse that is being constructed in November and December of 2015 will be used to grow hydroponic lettuce and will further add to revenue raising and the financial sustainability of YfPD.