In Cambodia, we are working to strengthen the capacity of local villages and communities to plan and deliver much-needed services such as education on healthcare, hygiene and nutrition as well as improve access to education for those who are missing out. A key focus of our work is increasing access to pre-school for young children, improving the quality of primary education and teaching community members and parents about the pivotal role they play in early childhood development and education.
Ms. Chanthou Som, from in a village in Kandal province neighboring the country’s capital, is living proof that with a little help parents can easily learn about the importance and benefits of a pre-school education for their children – something which traditionally has not been well understood among the Cambodian population, particularly in rural and poor areas.
Chantou, a 36-year-old mother-of-two admits that before her eldest son started pre-school she didn’t understand the importance of a quality education. “To me, the school was the teachers’ domain and I did not care about the development of schools and education. I thought it was always the teacher’s fault if a child did not understand a lesson. I use to blame the teachers for that” she says.
But, since joining Aide et Action’s project and participating in meetings held by teachers and local authorities at school, Chantou’s opinion has changed: “I am really happy that the project is working in my village because I’ve become more aware of the fact that I also have responsibility for my children’s education and for contributing to the process of school development, particularly to ensure the proper physical and psychological development of my children“.