Trapeang Sre Praing, is one of Cambodia’s most remote areas, located around 120 kilometres from Koh Kong provincial town. Most of the villagers are farmers and the nearest school was about 40 kilometers away. Therefore, most of the children were left at home or brought with their families to the paddy field.
With funding support from Educate a Child (EAC) through Aide et Action, and as part of the Cambodian Consortium for Out of School Children (CCOSC) project, Save the Children has included this village as one of its target areas and initiated the project to build the school. In the year 2015-2016, there are now 60 students studying from grades one to three at Trapeang Sre Praing mini-school.
The construction would have surely not been possible without the active involvement of the local villagers, especially the contribution from Mr. Pov, who offered his own plot of land to build the school. “It was a big frustration to see the young generation of my community unable to get an education, just like their parents. That was why I did not hesitate to donate my own land to have the school built here. I believe this donation will help children to learn and enable me to gain merit and prosperity in my future life,” said Mr. Pov. “The school is like our home. Whenever we are free, we come to play together here,” said a grade-3 school boy.
Mr. Loeurng Pov described how happy and grateful he and his community felt after the construction of a newly-built two classrooms. He said “95% of villagers in this community have been living in illiteracy over the last 20 years; they could not even read or write their own names. But from now on, the young generation of this community will not inherit the same fate. The whole village is very grateful to those who worked together to make the school building possible in this almost forgotten community”. Mr. Pov was born and grew up in the 1960s, and sadly lamented. “I am very passionate about education. I wish I could study at university. Unfortunately, I was born and grew up in a time of chaos and forcibly forbidden education”.
With regular training from the project, Mr. Pov is now employed as a teacher. Having a local teacher is vital in such a remote area, where it is extremely difficult to find qualified teachers. “At the beginning, I was quite reluctant and nervous to accept the assignment, as I had only complete grade six. I didn’t know how to teach. However, thanks to the active support from the project and local education authorities, encouragement from the villagers, and my self-learning, everything has gradually improved,” he explained.
“Honestly, developing education in this community is extremely hard and many NGOs overlooked this province due to inaccessible location,” acknowledged Mr. Seng Sokthy, Deputy Director of Koh Kong Provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sport.
 It is a Buddhist belief that, one who does good while alive will be reborn into prosperous life.