A partnership to electrify Cambodian schools
Our President went on an exploratory mission last October for 18 days. This mission was among other things to examine the different solar installations built through our organization thanks to the generous participation of our donors and our partnership with Synergie Solaire.
Our President, Laurent Talou, spent a large part of his trip in the villages in the center of the rural Prey Veng province.
As usual, he slept among the local inhabitants, visiting the families of sponsored children he has known for years.
His work also consisted in meeting school directors and officials from the district and municipality.
The primary school in Phnom Kuong, which we electrified last year, received a video projector as well as a document viewer, two vital tools to modernize schools in rural areas.
This process is seen as complementary with our programs to provide solar lamps to children in families with no access to electricity and to completely electrify the schools we work with. Going to the logical conclusion of our programs, following up on them and ensuring we have a long-lasting impact are at the core of our association's mission.
- Electrifying a school means implementing a method which will ensure that the installation will last for years and years, thanks to our monitoring system which enables us to know from afar the electricity usage of the school and to be informed of an eventual shortage to fix it quickly.
- Providing solar lamps ensures that each child beneficiary can use their lamp, and therefore that they will always have light even if their is a shortage. We also implement a monitoring register and have a reserve stock, all this in close collaboration with the school officials.
Sponsorship of children is not a principal goal of our association, meaning we are not actively seeking children to sponsor. We do look for sponsors for children whose situation mandates it.
Our mission is to provide light to children in families with limited, intermittent or no access at all to electricity. To correctly identify these families and help those truly in need, it's imperative that we do serious research in the field, and actually go meet many different families.
During these investigations, we often witness tragic social situations, situations that don't evolve after several months and several visits to these families.
Our sponsorship proposals stem from these situations, as unfortunately, there is no other efficient solution to help these children... or to ensure they don't drop out of school too early.
We have been working for several years around the same villages, we know the social and economic condition of many families. Living in the villages also implies getting to know their people.
If we can help them, why not do so?
We also know a large part of the school officials, up to the provincial university.
Sponsorship is proposed for children in families living in the most dire circumstances, and only in families we consider to be reliable.
Our President's best friend for almost twenty years was Franco-Cambodian.
His projects in Cambodia come from a long learning process to understand the context before deciding to create his own NGO.
He has also been an entrepreneur for 19 years, and has been sponsoring children in Cambodia for just as long. He is currently sponsoring 3 children in the villages we work in.
We collaborate with our local agent, who is a teacher and comes from the villages we work in.
Many schools have yet to be electrified, and many children still live without a permanent access to electricity. Others are also in need of a sponsor.
Thank you for contacting us for any additional information, and we appreciate any help you can give to spread the word around you.
We have been working lately with the endowment fund SYNERGIE SOLAIRE. This collaboration has just resulted in the installation of solar panels at the Phnom Kuong primary school.
We would like to thank the remarkable President of Synergie Solaire, Mrs. Hélène DEMAEGDT, as well as Mr. Julien FERNANDEZ, Head of the engineering and design department, as well as all the partner companies of the endowment fund. Without them, this project could not have been completed.
The school now has lasting access to electricity, with 287 students benefitting.
The first use of this access to electricity was to power a pump to fill a big water tank in the school.
Cambodia has had a difficult year due to drought. The province we are active in was particularly affected. So much so that the government had to provide emergency water bottles and tanks to the most vulnerable families, as most of the wells are dry!
With the beginning of the school year in November, the children and their teachers will discover a transformed school, with electrical outlets, lights and fans in each classroom.
Equipment for schools
The arrival of electricity enabled the use of new teaching materials for teachers. This fits with the main goal of our work, as well as our partnership with Synergie Solaire: to improve children's education.
The new materials we donated are:
- 1 printer
- 1 video projector
- 1 document viewer
The 3 main advantages of this are:
1- Increased power of attraction for the school
2- Considerable help for teachers thanks to the use of modern teaching tools and materials, enabling them to save time, increase student attention and attendance, further improving their education
3- Organizing additional classes after sundown
Teachers will save time because without a printer before, or enough teaching materials, they spent a lot time showing and describing a simple document.
Learning History or Geography becomes much more interesting to a child with these new materials.
The video projector and document viewer enable the projection of color documents on a large surface.
This installation enables the teacher to teach in a more lively way, enriching the exchange with students.
As a reminder, around 80% of Cambodian children live in rural areas.
The ' philosophy ' of Lumières sur le Mékong (Lights over the Mekong) is to enable children in rural areas to have the same quality of education as children in much richer schools, usually located in the bigger cities.
Of course, to accomplish this, we need generous donors. We can pick up donations in France, or you can also donate directly on the site or by regular mail.