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The sixteenth project of the Dreamcatcher Foundation in Cambodia is the construction of the following boarding house for boys:

Sangkum Thmei High School Boarding House for Boys, Tbeng Village, Chomroeun Commune, Sangkum Thmei District, Preah Vihea Province, Cambodia
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One of the school's 15 classrooms and the current accommodation for the boys...

The associated "bathroom" which lacks adequate hygiene standards and privacy.

The photo below right shows an example of what it looks like in the huts where the boys sleep...

Project description:

Despite its growing tourism sector, Cambodia remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in Southeast Asia. On the Human Development Index (2021), which takes into account education, health and income, the country ranks 146th out of 191 countries. Development is not evenly distributed across the country, and many rural communities remain poor as corruption and vested interests hinder the country's growth.
Sangkum Thmei is one of these communities. The village is home to 24,685 people, most of whom live from subsistence farming, forestry and fishing, especially when farming is not profitable in the dry season.
Sangkum Thmei High School, founded in 2007 by the community and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, is located in the Sangkum Thmei district in Preah Vihea province in northern Cambodia. The school is attended by 430 students (194 boys, 236 girls) aged 15 to 18 and employs 23 teachers (13 men, 10 women). The school currently has seven school buildings with a total of 15 classrooms and a boarding school for girls. Due to factors such as long distances to school, a lack of financial resources, uncertainty about plans after leaving school and inadequate educational infrastructure, there is a high school drop-out rate in this area. Around 20% of students who live far from school seek outside support by sleeping in pagodas or on the floors of villagers‘ and friends’ houses. The stress associated with such sleeping arrangements is a major distraction for students. Other students build small huts on campus or rent rooms nearby. The cost of accommodation, added to the mandatory expenses of education, is a major challenge for parents. Without adequate sleeping facilities, students may be persuaded to leave school to help their parents with work or migrate to Thailand on a seasonal basis.
Currently, 50 students urgently need more suitable accommodation so that they can concentrate on their education. We have therefore agreed to support the community in building a new boarding school that will incentivise students to complete high school and continue their education. The families of future students who live far from the school will be relieved and encouraged knowing that there will be accommodation for students at the school. In addition to the boarding school, we will build a kitchen and six new toilets to improve the hygiene standards of the school and prevent hygiene-related diseases, which will also further reduce the drop-out rate.

Implementation:

Sangkum Thmei High School is a state-recognised school. The salaries and training of the teachers are supported and managed by the government. The boarding school will be able to accommodate up to 50 boys. Our approach is to involve the community in the project in order to promote community ownership and development. For this project, the villagers have agreed to contribute by drawing up and developing plans for the boarding school, filling the foundation, connecting the building to water and electricity, removing the rotten wooden buildings and organising the opening ceremony once the building is completed.
The school and the community will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the boarding school. We will select a trusted local contractor to coordinate all phases of construction and purchase materials locally. The contractor will be paid in four instalments as construction progresses, with 5% of the total cost retained for six months to ensure the quality of the work. The school site is accessible all year round. Construction is scheduled to start in June 2024, with completion expected in November 2024.

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