Kiwis Battle On to Build a School in Siem Reap Village

This is a part of our Cambodia forums to chat about anything Cambodia-related. This discussion forum is at the top of our site because it's usually the busiest part of the expat community chatter with random topics on just about everything, including expat life, Khmer politics, Cambodian blogs we have or have come across, or whatever else our members want to discuss. Whether you're an expatriate, tourist, Cambodian or random traveler just passing through South East Asia, you are welcome to talk about anything or start new topics yourselves.
User avatar
CEOCambodiaNews
Expatriate
Posts: 24019
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:13 am
Reputation: 909
Location: CEO Newsroom in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Contact:
Cambodia

Kiwis Battle On to Build a School in Siem Reap Village

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:01 am

Generous Kiwis step up for Cambodian kids:

Friday, 11 January 2019
Couple building future for schoolchildren in Cambodia
A Queenstown couple have become heroes in an impoverished Cambodian village after bankrolling and building a new school, which they hope to expand.
Image
Architectural designer Mark Hillary and his wife Julie Carlaw-Hillary, a teacher, spent last year working on the project in Ou Ambel Village, near Siem Reap, which will be finished on February 28.

To date they have invested $40,000 of their own money into the project which started when Mr Hillary was asked by Sergio Antunes, a New Zealand friend based in Cambodia, to design a school for the children to replace a dilapidated two-room barn with no toilets or water.

That school was used by 120 children aged 5 to 15.

The Hillarys have since upgraded the barn to cater for 256 children, and convinced the Cambodian Government to give a piece of land for the new school which will cater for another 400.

The new school features four "pod-style" classrooms, four toilets and two medical rooms.

Mr Hillary said at times the couple had questioned why they took on what initially appeared to be a simple project, particularly after his wife battled a life-threatening illness last year.

"The question was, `how can we build a school here?'," he said.

"Within a few weeks of witnessing the desperation there for education, that question had changed to `how can we not build a school and leave these kids like that in poverty?"'

The couple battled Cambodian bureaucracy but "miraculously" managed to get approvals for the new school almost six months ahead of the usual timeframe.

The Hillarys, joined by Queenstown builder Richard Short and his family, travelled to Cambodia to build a playground for the children while waiting for the school consents.

Once building started, the children filled washing baskets with soil and moved bricks to help the contractors every night after school, Mr Hillary said.

"What really moved me was watching a father drive his tractor on to the proposed school site renowned for its hidden land mines with his children's two grandfathers hobbling out in front.

"Some of the locals told me those two old guys had badly damaged legs from standing on land mines previously.

"That's the extent of the desperation there for children to be educated."

The couple were now contemplating selling their caravan and boat to fund the remainder of the project - there were still 1000 children around the village needing an education and each pod costs $82,000.

They hoped to build more pods and a child care facility.

To date they had raised about $23,000.

To support, visit: https://bit.ly/2VDlYLj
https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/queenstow ... n-cambodia
Cambodia Expats Online: Bringing you breaking news from Cambodia before you read it anywhere else!

Have a story or an anonymous news tip for CEO? Need advertising? CONTACT US

Cambodia Expats Online is the most popular community in the country. JOIN TODAY

Follow CEO on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Google+
Instagram
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post