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Education-based Projects for Peace Uplifts Children in Cambodia

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By Emiko Perea

From July to September, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Cambodia held various programs to create peaceful communities by educating students in primary schools on peace-based initiatives to share with their families. Their Safe Bottle project prevented families from using disposable water bottles that clogged and polluted waterways by providing students with safe aluminum water bottles to reuse and refill at water stations.

This project was supplemented with Global Peace Green Education, an environmental education program for students to understand the importance of their education in confronting environmental issues and develop as creative problem solvers. The project also helped the students understand the importance of investing in reusable bottles for the environment. “As a youth, I have dedicated my time and energy to teach kids whom I have never known regardless of how distant my house is from the school,” said Kem Solyka, a volunteer from the Green Education Project. “I learned that everyone in the world can make an impact on society by donating little things which can make a big difference.”

Another campaign initiated in Cambodia aimed to improve English Education to help aspiring students to advance their studies in learning English and open even more opportunities for them in the future. The English Education Awareness Campaign also incorporated discussions on morals in the stories that the teachers told the children during their English Lessons. The children shared their ideas and enjoyed thinking about how they would react to different challenges in their lives. According to Ran Sokny, a volunteer from Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University for the English Education project, learning English was important for the children to learn to find jobs and to have the opportunity to study abroad in the future. She said it was also important for the people of Cambodia to connect to other countries by using English as a shared language.

A volunteer for GPF Cambodia’s library-building and literary support project, Lim Rathida said, “From my point of view, the Peacebook project has transformed many potential volunteers who wish to enhance their teaching skills and I really recommend it to those who feel like they want to be part of the contribution to the society as even one day per week can make a really big difference.”

GPF Cambodia launched the ongoing Peacebook project in Cambodia last year to gather donated books for schools to encourage higher literacy in young people to develop their rational thinking and contribute to the advancement of their community.

Last year, volunteers created a community library at the Kdey Takoy Primary School consisting of the donated books. This year, volunteers that visited Kdey Takoy Primary School’s library noticed that children of various grades would eagerly wait outside of the library, waiting to be let in. The volunteers came up with the idea of having the older primary school children read to the younger ones. The older children who volunteered to read aloud were awarded candies and other treats. This created a sense of community among the children and allowed all the children to be involved in reading. 

These projects will continue on to positively impact the students and students and pave the way for them to create peace in their communities and grow as leaders in the future. What can you do to build peace where you are?

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