Building Safer Places for Children to Learn

Posted on: May 28, 2011 Posted by: Manin Oem Comments: 0

Building Safer Places for Children to Learn

Child-to-Child Center Frame by Sochampa Watd Khouth; Photo Credit: {Someone's Name}

The Child-to-Child (CtC) program works in 12 villages of Chanleas Dai and Snoul commune. There are 556 children in 24 child clubs. We have 8 Child Educators to work with children every Sunday.

Currently, activities take place outdoors, in houses, and other spaces. Everyday, we work so hard to find new activities to enhance the students’ development. We have tried our best to empower children to have confidence and ownership in everything they do.

Day by day, the children are improving in a lot of things, such as creative thinking, an eagerness to express themselves, and problem-solving. However, one big challenge is that there are few safe places for children do activities. Some Child-to-Child places for doing activities are unsafe because they are located under trees, leading to unpredicted accidents, such as falling branches or fruit. Furthermore, it is also difficult to do activities outside in the rainy season. The rain makes lots of mud, and we must move if there is a lot of lightening or deep water.

These dangers gave teachers the idea to build a CtC Center for the children to do activities without having to move from one place to another when it’s raining or hot.

To address this problem, children and teachers held a meeting to brainstorm what to do next and how. Educators discussed the situation with the children. We led them to imagine about a good and safe place to do activities. Then we asked them questions: do they want to have safe and good place? They answered yes. Then we asked: how can we get it? And they started to think and talk with educators about building a center to do activities.

The idea of building the center for CtC was brought up with the whole club and then children and educators set up a meeting with community members to share this idea with them, and asked them to support the children.

After discussing and analyzing the situation, they brought ideas to their community to show the kinds of problems the children face and how they can be solved by community support and involvement.

After the challenges were presented, the community decided to resolve the issues by contributing their support. They gave the material and the labor to build the center. People donated to us in accordance what they had: wood, leaves for the roof, other building materials, rice, money, and energy/time.

The center was built by everyone. Educators, children, and community members worked together to build it and take care of it. The building completed looks like a local primary school. It has two rooms, one for activities every Sunday and another one for books and other study materials. The center helps keep children safe, and helps us to do better activities.

So far through this process, three communities have decided to build CtC centers: Khnar Jo, Preah Lean, and Tramkong. We are so excited to see the community come together to build safer places for students to learn.