From Freiburg, Germany to Angtasom, Cambodia

Charlott with two students in the library
Charlott with two students in the library
Hello, we are Riad and Charlott from Freiburg, Germany. As we never have been to Asia before, we thought it is a good idea to do a voluntary for our stay in Cambodia. Fortunately, we got to know Sokhan as he visited our hometown in Germany. He arranged a short-term fellowship of six weeks in the learning center in Angtasom. After having a one-hour video conference with Sothika, Head of the Learning Center, we agreed to arrive on November 17 and to stay until January 2.

New Micro Learning Center
First, we helped in promoting and open up a new Micro Learning Center [a micro learning center is a mobile unit equipped with books bringing educational offerings to people living in the rural areas of Takeo province]. Therefore, we had to join meetings with various local authorities and several heads of school, as BOOKBRIDGE is cooperating with state schools. Its aim is to teach English not only in the city, but also in the countryside. This was a quite big challenge for us as we didn’t know the conditions of teaching in Cambodia. Once a new micro learning center opened, we assisted in teaching. During our presence three new micro learning centers were ready to open.

Fixing chairs
Fixing chairs
Fixing chairs and see-saw
Unfortunately, the students’ chairs at the learning center were in very poor conditions when we arrived. During our stay, we fixed about 82 chairs! Luckily all the tools we needed were provided by the center and the school’s “Booktook” driver Ra was a great help. He was very patient in working together with two foreigners who don’t speak Khmer. As well as the chairs, we fixed the children’s playground sea-saw, which had been broken for some years. Children appreciate it a lot.

Charlott and Riad are reading with little children
Charlott and Riad are reading with little children
Christmas Party
As a Christmas party was scheduled for December 25, we were involved in preparing games and decoration. Having a snack, a coke and exchanging presents was as great fun to the children as playing games and singing. In the evening, we had a tasty barbeque with the advanced students and all the teachers and we enjoyed to chat and have a drink after the busy afternoon.
Our personal experience

Charlott with Sothika (green shirt) and students
Charlott (red shirt) with Sothika (green shirt) and students
We want to thank everybody for the warm welcome at the learning center. We really enjoyed working closely with staff, teachers, children, pupils, students and everybody else. Sometimes it was quite a challenge and a good training to work spontaneously and be in charge of something without any preparation. So we improved our skills to react on a sudden change of plans. We see this as an exchange of experience and learned a lot about Cambodia, its everyday life and its people. Thank you very much for the good time we shared together!

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