LWD distributes 155 bicycles to disadvantaged students in rural Cambodia
Phnom Kravanh, Pursat Province (June 21, 2017) – Life With Dignity (LWD) today distributed 155 second-hand bicycles, worth about $5,000 to disadvantaged rural students whose houses are located farther than 2km away from schools and have no bicycles.
Jointly funded by Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS), Bread for the World, Dan Church Aid (DCA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and Finn Church Aid (FCA), and administered by LWD, the donation of those bicycles aimed to provide opportunity for disadvantaged rural school children to study higher.
The bicycles were distributed to 155 disadvantaged school children. Most of them are at the primary level, from 38 villages of six communes in Phnom Kravanh district.
Speaking at the distribution ceremony, held at LWD’s Area Program Office in Phnom Kravanh, Ms. Sambath Rachna, LWD Area Program Manager, advised the students to study hard and encouraged their parents to support their studies as much as possible. “Education can bring you a better life in the future. Please, study hard for your bright future and for developing your community,” she said.
These bicycles were funded by ALWS, Bread for the World, DCA, ELCA and FCA, she told the students and their parents at the ceremony. “Please, help maintain the bike and use it for the right purpose of your children,” she said, adding that if any parents stopped their kids from going to school after receiving the bike, LWD would take it back and give it to another poor student.
Representative from the Provincial Office of Education expressed his profound thanks to LWD and its donors for their continued support to improve education in Phnom Kravanh district.
En Kimhorn, 14, 6th grader, from Khset Borei village in Santre commune, expressed his great content with the generous support. “Today, I am very happy to get a bicycle,” he said.
Kimhorn is parentless. He has 5 older sisters and he is the youngest. Currently, he lives with his sister. Since grade 1, Kimhorn has walked to school. He usually leaves his home at 6am and reaches his school at 7am. Kimhorn is a good student. Math is his favourite subject. He often ranks the 2nd place in monthly study record.
With the bike, he planned to go to the junior high school, which is located some 40 km from his house the following years. “I am committed to complete high school level and I want to become a teacher,” Kimhorn said.
Phoeun Srey Hoeun, 13, 3rd grader, from Ta Des village in Samraong commune, also expressed the same feeling as Kimhorn. Hoeun lost her education opportunity for six years because her house is too far from school. It takes her a half day to walk from her house to school.
She started her first grade in 2014, a year after her oldest brother became a monk at a pagoda near the school in the central village. Heoun was committed to complete high school level and wanted to work for a garment factory, she said.
All the students were selected through a joint committee comprised of a school principal, a village leader, a community volunteer, and LWD field staff, targeting only schoolchildren from the poorest families whose houses are located far away from school and have no bicycles. About 30% of the school age children throughout the district still do not have bicycles to ride to schools.