Even though SmILe Academy, BOOKBRIDGE Learning Center in Psar Kralan, Cambodia, just opened in late 2017, it is on a very good way to becoming sustainable.
There are already 55 enrolled students in the two-shift-programs, the children and the general English program that take place in the morning and the afternoon as well as on weekends. In addition, our collaboration with Mouk Neak Primary School is going very well. Not only 10 computers were donated to our partner, but there have also been scholarships offered to primary school teachers to enroll in our general English program. As Community Hero Kimsorn Ngam has offered their relatives a reduced course fee, they promised to send their children to enroll in the academic year 2018 – 2019.
Despite the fact that there are many competitors around the learning center, we differentiate from them by organizing activities that have an impact on the community, f.e. a plastic wast campaign. A group of students did a research project on single-use of plastic on the local market. The results were presented to more than 3,000 students and 20 primary school teachers to make them aware of the problem of plastic garbage. Posters were created and sent to local communities, posted on the school campus and in the town.
The posters inform about the environmental impact of plastic waste such as floods because of blocked sewage systems and drainage channels. Single-use of plastic (plastic bottles, bags etc.) is a wide-spread problem in Cambodia. The students not only highlighted the problem but also gave recommendations on alternative packing materials like lotus or banana leaves, rattan basket and a fabric bags instead of plastic ones.
Kimsorn hopes to have more students enrolled for the new academic year 2018 – 2019. With his offerings, he wants to serve his community, not only the learning center. His activities all focus on learning, be it in a class or outside of the learning center.