Prey Veng- In mid-June this year the first community preschool opened its doors to disadvantaged families in the community of Neak Leoung.
Initiated and supported by AEA, this project is of upmost importance as it is the first of its kind offering young children from the age of 3 to 5 access to early childhood education. Thanks to the new class, children can now learn to study, play and live together. Moreover, it is expected that when parents see the positive influence of education on their children, it is less likely that they will force them to work on the streets.
After the first months, the class counts currently 30 children that follow classes from 7 to 10 am, and six mornings a week in the hall of the pagoda. 19 year old Thiya and 20 year old Srey Mom have been chosen and trained by AEA’s local partner on how to give these classes. They themselves are former beneficiaries of the centre for street children. To facilitate their classes, AEA provided school as well as pedagogic materials.
“I understand now that this preschool is important for my son. After only one month he has developed a lot and starts to be more obedient too” said miss Sophea, the mother of a 4 year old.
Also Mr. Ear, director of the street children center, said he was satisfied with the new class. “ I am very happy that this project is coming together well. When children show potential and develop well in a nursery class, the parents will be likely to send them to school instead of letting them work on the streets” he insisted.
So far, it is the first nursery class in Neak Leoung, but AEA wants to keep on investing here and in other areas in Cambodia until it reaches its goal to give good quality education to all disadvantaged children.