Ban Houy is a small, remote village which is home to 165 children and their families. Our first job was to build a well that would provide fresh, clean drinking water to the whole community. We later found out that the well was built just before a potentially devastating drought hit the region.
In early 2016, we knew we wanted to be involved in a more practical way. The EC family wanted to play a more active role in a project so that we could truly understand the impact of our work. To fully act on the pillars of our CSR Charter (Sustainability, Education and Community), we wanted our next initiative to focus on making education accessible to children who would not otherwise be able to go to school.
Partnering with United World Schools (UWS)
UWS is an international charity dedicated to improving the lives and prospects of children in some of the world’s poorest regions by giving them the opportunity to receive the education they want and deserve. When EC met with the charity, we immediately knew they were the right organisation to help us accomplish our goal. Before we knew it, our plans were in place and we were on our way to Cambodia.
Our First Steps in Cambodia
Seeing the three-room school transform from a patch of land into a space where children could learn the skills they need to dream big was perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the initiative. Everyone was looking forward to seeing where the children of Ban Houy would spend their time learning their national language (Khmer), as well as numeracy, music, arts and crafts!
In February 2017, an eager team of volunteers from EC set off on a 10-day trip to Ban Houy. They spent time talking to local families, encouraging kids to attend school, and demonstrating different teaching methods to increase student engagement at the new school. The EC volunteers found the trip to Cambodia both an eye-opening and humbling experience.