English classes adapted to different levels with a maximum of 20 children per classroom and additional support for those with learning difficulties.
Some of the donations will go towards the construction of houses, food distribution, medicines, and other urgent necessities for local families in extreme poverty.
What are we doing?
Camboya Sonríe/Cambodia Smiles is a project that was established after seeing the living conditions of some local children and the education system in Cambodia..
We want to be there for them and train them so they can start on a professional career instead of continuously experiencing problems because of a lack of basic food, medicines, and other necessities.
That’s why have built a rural school for more than 200 children and teenagers. We primarily teach them English, skills, values and habits that are important for their daily life. In addition, we promote sports, reading, creativity, and working in teams.
We also work with the poorest families and people in urgent need of help.
Families in situations of extreme poverty
Out-of-school children younger than 12
Out-of-school children older than 12
The Government of Cambodia’s budget for the educational sector
Who are we?
Volunteers share their experiences at Cambodia Smiles.
It was my first trip to Cambodia and I discovered a vibrant country whose greatest treasure is its people, its hospitality, and community life. Although it’s also a country where there’s a lot to be done when it comes to infrastructures and basic shortages.
The three weeks that I spent as a volunteer at the Camboya Sonríe school were an unforgettable experience. I was able to see firsthand the work that Alejandra, Chamnan, and the other teachers carry out with such dedication, training and educating the children and young people so that they have a future, as well as supporting the community in general to help it become better off. What I admire most is the dedication of those teachers and the children’s respect for teaching and their instructors.
An experience like this means you step out of your comfort zone and face a reality different from yours, and in the end you get more than you give, and much more than you could have imagined. In three weeks, you can’t do much, and the children can’t learn from your stay as much as you’d like, but you do help to make school and education more interesting; and you get them excited, increasing their curiosity and, along with it, something they weren’t lacking before: their love of learning. You form relationships, share your knowledge and ideas, feel strong emotions, and make ties. And most of all, you can see, live, and soak up how these people form their work and life experience around three magic values: help, effort, and compromise.
My thanks goes to Camboya Sonríe for this unique opportunity. I hope that my stay and contribution will be one of many more, endless collaborations that will bring them everything they need to bring the project forward, so that it keeps growing and enriching people’s lives.
Claudia and Joana
Before talking about our two-week experience at Camboya Sonríe, we think it’s helpful to share that we found this project on Instagram. From there, we started talking to Alejandra, who quickly made us feel very welcome and made us even more eager to spend a few days there. It was also really easy to communicate with her and figure out our stay.
During our time at the school we attended the morning classes, so we got to know three of the four teachers (Alejandra, Sokun, and Chamnan), who helped us, explained things, and made us feel part of the classes and the children’s education.
This way, we felt very comfortable learning from them and also enjoyed helping out (if only a little) with education in the village. We really liked the teachers’ dedication and the effort they put in to helping the children learn in a fun way, making them more interested in English. This makes us want to comment on the importance of the work they’re doing at Camboya Sonríe to improve education and the country’s future. Because they explained the country’s situation (politics, education, concerns…) to us and how worried they are about it.
So we want to use this blog to emphasize the importance of the work that the organization is doing, and we think it shouldn’t be necessary to go all the way to Cambodia (or other countries) to be aware of the country’s situation.
Being part of this project doesn’t just involve teaching and learning, but also being happy, having a good time, helping families, learning to live together, etc. So aside from the classes, we were also able to celebrate Alejandra’s and Sokun’s birthdays, see the work that’s being done with the families of the children who need it, and find out how fun it is to do kung fu.
Finally, we’d like to say we would have like to spend more time with them and been able to use our time there even better. We really hope that Camboya Sonríe keeps growing and receiving the help it needs, so that everything they have in mind is possible.
Don’t miss any of our school news!
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