VCD (Volunteer Community Development)
In August, 20 graduating 9th grade students who live in Chanleas Dai commune decided to start their own organization. With a bit of help from one of our staff members, Sarakk Rith, they began teaching English to community members in seven villages as well as starting clean-up initiatives to alleviate the litter problem seen in many villages.
The program, called Volunteer Community Development, or VCD, was started entirely thanks to the initiative of these talented young people. The student volunteers were able to independently raise $250 in addition to continued support of $15 per month from members of the community and teachers. Furthermore, community members were so impressed with their efforts that they have offered rooms in their homes as classrooms and even an office. In a country with an average daily wage of $1.75, these donations represent a significant investment. The results of their efforts have allowed these young people to teach 20 evening English classes per day in rural Cambodia.
The classes involve games, interactive learning, and messages for the social good about issues like respect, tolerance, and fairness. The classes are well attended and when they are in session the villages are filled with classes of children and adults learning English in fully engaging sessions. Some quotes from the VCD members:
“My purpose is I want all the children to have English knowledge.”
Souphea, Human Resource Officer
“I feel so happy that I can help all of the children in my village to study English together and share my experience to the students.”
Seyha, VCD Volunteer
“Before I came to VCD, I always went for walks in my free time but now I always think about my work and my job in the future. I never thought that I could have a good work like this and this is a job that I like so much. I’ve got a lot of experiences from VCD team. I really want to develop my country by doing the action like I am doing…I teach English to children that live in the rural place and the best thing I like is environment, we pick up rubbish.”
Ravy, VCD Volunteer