What does PEPY’s funding support?
English and Computer
As a supplement to the Khmer curriculum, PEPY offers English and Computer programs for primary and secondary students in Chanleas Dai. Our computer program utilizes XO laptops through the One Laptop Per Child initiative. The XO laptops are designed to be much more than a typical computer, with activities and tools tailored to engage young learners, encourage creativity, and improve critical thinking. Using programs like Scratch, students are able to learn easy programming skills, as well as improve their mathematics, science, logical reasoning, and even their Khmer literacy!
The Bike-to-School Program was launched in December 2006 at the PEPY Ride School, providing bikes to graduating 6th graders as an incentive to remain in school while also providing transportation to reach secondary schools. National statistics note that only 26% of students continue to secondary school. After the implementation of the Bike-to-School Program, approximately 90 percent of 6th graders at the PEPY Ride School continued to 7th grade. The Bike-to-School ceremony is an annual highlight at the PEPY Ride School, as students are recognized and rewarded for their hard work.
PEPY works to promote Khmer literacy by creating libraries, providing librarian training, working with administrators to integrate library time into the curriculum, and encouraging teachers to incorporate more books into their curriculum. In order to participate in English and XO Computer classes, students are required to take a Khmer literacy test. Those who do not pass are then enrolled in small group classes in order to raise their skill level. In 2008 PEPY held its inaugural literacy camp, bringing together teachers, students, and parents to participate in activities that promote reading in the community.
The Child-to-Child Program is PEPY’s newest educational initiative in Chanleas Dai Commune and driven entirely by its school-age participants. Facilitated by community members, these clubs emphasize learning through activities, hands-on projects, and by encouraging children to be role models in their communities. Through a dynamic process of discussing, brainstorming, problem solving, and finally taking action, student groups tackle issues such as dengue fever and basic household sanitation. Through this program the children learn not only the causes of these issues but also how to effectively share information and create change in their own communities.
Government teachers in Cambodia get paid an average of 30-50 dollars per month, hardly a subsistence wage for an individual, much less a family. In 2008 PEPY developed programs that aim to improve the quality of life for teachers and reward them for commitment to their classes. Government teachers are offered monthly food support for full attendance, with an opportunity for end of year bonuses based on community, PEPY, and government evaluations. By providing opportunities for responsible, dedicated, and proactive teachers, PEPY can empower them to become role models at school and true leaders within the community.
The Asian University for Women
In September 2007, PEPY became the Cambodia national recruitment partner for the Asian University for Women (AUW), an international university in Chittagong, Bangladesh. AUW is to be a world-class institution of higher education dedicated to preparing talented Asian women for leadership in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. As the recruiting partner for AUW, PEPY coordinates the scholarship selection process by administering applications, interviewing students, meeting applicants’ families, and eventually accompanying the scholarship recipients as they transition from Cambodia to university life in Bangladesh.
Environmental Education and Action
PEPY’s Environmental Education and Action Program works to increase students’ awareness of their natural environment and the positive impact they can have on it. In partnership with local environmental organizations, PEPY supports eight eco-clubs at primary schools throughout the Chanleas Dai area. PEPY also facilitates monthly showings of New World videos, a Khmer-version of Sesame Street, developed and produced entirely locally by PEPY partner RDIC. This series teaches about environmental and health-related topics alongside Khmer literacy through the use of songs, animation, cartoons, and pop culture icons.
PEPY is active in the distribution of RDIC’s ceramic water filters that effectively remove 99.99% of all minerals, bacteria, and viruses from rainwater and surface water. With approximately 75% of deaths in Cambodia attributable to waterborne illnesses, the proper use of water filters has a significant impact in schools and communities. All 8 primary schools in PEPY’s target area received grants for classroom water filters and principals have already noted the higher attendance resulting from lower rates of diarrheal disease. Teachers in Chanleas Dai assist with the promotion and distribution of water filters within the community.