Meet Suvan, head monk at Enkosa Pagoda and founder of the New Life School which is completely run by the monks at the pagoda and volunteers. The New Life school is completely funded by donations and I am thrilled to be working alongside Suvan and other volunteers to show the wider community what a good cause this school is to support. We are currently working on a website and Facebook page to draw attention to this cause. Students usually come after their normal school hours to learn English, Thai, Korean, and other subjects. A full time professional teacher is one of the first priorities on the list of objectives, then to increase the size of the library and eventually to be a relatively well funded school for the community.
To find out more about this project you can visit Wat Enkosa itself and ask for 'Suvan' or you can send me an email at: Geoff@exposuresiemreap.com
The Pagoda's monks are the main volunteers operating at this school.
Though the poor lighting and lack of funding are real obstacles, the passion and human spirit of these volunteers still shines through.
The pagoda monks are also keen to brush up on their Thai skills. A large proportion of Cambodian youngsters go to work as manual laborers in Thailand so Thai is a useful skill to have. Korean is also a sought after skill as many Korean companies are now based in Cambodia. Government funded schools do not teach these subjects so students come to places like The New Life School to further their education.
Suvan at the entrance of the small library.
A Cambodian children's community arts project providing a creative platform for disadvantaged children to foster and promote expression and self confidence through art. Giant puppets are created by children and include unique educational, cultural or ecological themes such as road safety, endangered species, hygiene, local cultural appreciation and environmental awareness. Established in 2007 with just over 200 children participating in the inaugural parade, the project had more than doubled in size. In 2016 nearly 600 children from numerous local schools, orphanages, 'street kid' centers took part alongside children from a nearby shelter for child landmine survivors.
I am happy to be working alongside the great and ever growing team organizing the Giant Puppet Project.