Svay Muoy You, Director of Seametrey Children’s Village in Tonle Bati, 30km South of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
This is what the school site looked like in April 2013.
This is what it looks like now, in 2019, a real dream school for village children
225 students aged 3 to 15 from the surrounding villages are studying at Seametrey Children’s Village in bright airy classrooms. On top of the regular Khmer curriculum, they learn English, computer, music, sport. Volunteers come year round to help teach and care for our children.
The dream has become reality thanks to donations from people around the world. They generously contributed to our campaigns on Indiegogo.com between 2012 and 2017.
The extensive sports facilities that were built subsequently not only benefit our children but also the community as a whole. We have opened them to the public during weekends and holidays. This has helped sustain the school and also provided children and teenagers in the area with meaningful and healthy pastimes. While they used to hang around aimlessly or indulge in drugs and games, they now meet at Seametrey Leisure Centre to swim, play sport, listen to music or just chat. Our centre has become a meeting point for youth.
The area we need help now is human resources. We are short of staff, in all areas –teaching, support, maintenance, security. At this time our focus is on empowering the teaching staff with professional training.
Two projects are planned for the summer 2019.
Project 1: June 2019 - Send Channeath, a nursery teacher at our school, to a Montessori training course in Sunnyvale, California, from June 2019 to June 2020. Our present Montessori teacher, Patti, has been volunteering at our school for seven years. She will leave in the summer 2020. The plan is for Channeath to take over from her. This is the reason why she needs a formal training at a recognized Montessori training institution. For this project we need
$ 5,000 for school fees, books etc.
$ 12,000 ($1000 x 12) for homestay with breakfast and dinner
$ 3,000 for tickets and insurance
$ 3,600 ($300 x 12) stipend (for transport and lunch)
Project 2: Bring a Montessori trainer to train our primary teachers on-site from 12th to 23rd August 2019. Kim Ahn Anderson, a Vietnamese American Montessori trainer who commutes between San Diego and Hanoi has kindly accepted my invitation to come and train our primary teachers one the Montessori approach of teaching in the primary school.
Costs: $2,000 for trainer’s fee and materials making
Total project 1 + 2 : $25,600 > $27,000 target (after crowd funding and bank commission)
We hope you will support us and we thank you in advance for your generosity. Your donations will go a very long way and have a tremendous ripple effect. A Montessori trained teacher will turn students into avid learners, feeding into their thirst for knowledge and understanding of the world, laying foundation for human excellence and thus building peace and harmony through education. The children will have a bright future while society will benefit from competent, caring and sharing adults.
The videos below give you a glimpse into the people behind the projects and some of our cultural activities.
UPDATE 16th JUNE 2019.
Two weeks before our fundraiser ends we've managed to raise 12%, $3340, but it was not enough. Channeath was denied a visa on financial ground. I have to honour my commitment and staff professional development is crucial for our school.
Plan B is to send staff to India instead. I found a school in Koramangala, Bangalore that was established by Maria Montessori and her son. The cost would be about $3500 all inclusive per person (school fees, board and lodging, travel, passport, visa, personal allowance), a fraction of what it would cost in California. But Channeath wouldn’t go alone and I wouldn’t send her alone. to India. Also to solve our staff professional training for the long term, two other teachers will go with her. A fourth girl will join them but she has a sponsor, so I don’t have to pay for her. So if all goes well, a crowd from our school will be heading to Bangalore in August to be on time for the training course that begins on 26th August and goes on until end of May 2020. This is the link to the school:
The total costs for the three teachers will be $10500. There is still two weeks to go before the GGF fundraiser ends. I pray it will pick up momentum and more donors will come forward. In any case, the project will go ahead even if it means I have to borrow money to supplement the budget. It's worth the sacrifice. In 2020, we will have four qualified teachers. That will be a huge asset for our school.
Come rain or sunshine, our school will move on. With your support, the journey would be smoother.