Phum Chreh

Community of Tuol Kork manages a Primary School in Phum Chreh village with 301 children and a Kindergarten school with 156 children from 3 to 5 year of age divided in three group-age. All the children come from Phum Chreh and the surrounding villages. Majority of the families are poor farmers, drivers (motorcycle) construction and factory workers.

Our presence and work is very much appreciated by the people and the Ministry of Education.

Brief History of Don Bosco School in Phum Chreh

In 2001 Phum Chreh was a very poor village in the outskirts of Phnom Penh; today the area is called Phnom Penh Thmey. Many children were daily roaming around the few, unpaved streets playing with dust or mud according to season. They were not going to school because they were small and the school was far away. Parents were working and had no time to take them to and from the school. 

For the Salesian Sisters, visiting the area was a pitiful sight, a sight about which, as Don Bosco did many years ago in Italy, they had to do something. A project was set. They attracted a few willing young Khmer women to participate in the project and approached the Head of the village to obtain approval for the use of a simple room that the village people dedicated to their meetings,  to start Literacy classes for the children on a Sunday basis.

Right from the beginning 20 children faithfully frequented the classes. It was not long before the number grew to 60 and to 125. At this point it was necessary to review the original project. Parents came in numbers begging the Sisters to open a school for their children. They were poor, working people, living in shacks, working in factories or as laborers in construction sites or simply selling home-made eatables on the street.

In 2002 Don Bosco’s vision challenged the Sisters again who decided to involve anyone who could help to build a school. Donors came from Italy, from Japan and other places. The Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS) encouraged and approved the opening of formal primary education on the site. In October 2002 Kindergarten and grades 1-3 started with 200 children in small rooms built on the village land.

With the completion of the school building on new land grades 4 and 5 were opened and all transferred to the new building in October 2003. In October 2004 grade 6 was added with a total enrolment of 290 children.

The School Year 2015-2016 started with an additional class: the Kindergarten was enriched with 50 three-year-old children, thus completing the Kinder population with three classes of children aged 3 to 5 years.
It was an urgent need since in the past years several older children abandoned school to take care of smaller siblings at home while their parent went to work. Parents felt it was a blessing since the school is a full day school.
The preparation for the opening of the new children was done: A class room and the necessary furniture and materials were provided: tables and chairs, cabinets, mats, pillows and the required school material. A new teacher and assistant were employed

Today the children number 457.  Classes begin at 7.45 4.00 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

The teaching Staff consist of many very dedicated people who understand the value of education and spend wholeheartedly their energies and competence to the fulfillment of the educative project.

From the beginning the children have been provided free education and school materials, free daily lunch and medical treatment. In the last three years, since the economic situation in the village  has somewhat improved, the Sisters are asking parents to give, monthly, whatever contribution they can for their child’s education. Contributing, even in a small measure, besides helping in the school expenses, enhances their dignity in the awareness of contributing to the education of their children.

However the contribution is very small and the Sisters need to search for donors to run the enterprise since the yearly budget involves many thousands US dollars.   

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