United World Schools is committed to creating sustainable change through the provision of education in previously marginalised communities. By teaching the unreached, we provide more than just access to a basic education.
For the people of indigenous village communities such as Ka Narng Ket, Cambodia, learning to count, write and read in the national language opens up new pathways. We support these people to become active citizens who can go on to further education, contribute to the local economy and feel more connected to the wider world.
Here are just four examples from the thousands of young people we’re currently working with.
Kom Nem, 9 years old
“I have an older sister and a younger brother. We all help our parents on the farm and in the rice fields. I only leave the village when we go to the fields. We mainly grow rice and we eat most of it.”
“I was at the school every day when the men built it. All my friends come here and we have a lot of fun. I like the games and art. We also learn Khmer, like the people in town. It sounds so different – my parents can only speak some words in Khmer.”
By attending school, Kom will be able to expand his opportunities beyond agricultural village life. He will be able to communicate with people in the local town, which could help his family to develop their farming business. His time at UWS Ka Narng Ket School will give Kom the skills needed for further education and job opportunities, which will enable him to support his family in the future.
Nang Ron, 10 years old
“My mother died some years ago when she gave birth; the baby also died. Now my older sister takes care of me. My father works on the farm. My sister and I help him in the fields and look after the chicken.”
“Other families have motos, but we don’t. We save all we have for our daily life. When I learn in school I will help my father to earn money. Then I will buy my family a motorbike. I like school and I cannot wait until it starts at the end of the rainy season.”
As well as developing her own abilities, being a UWS pupil will help Nang to realise her dream of providing a motorbike for her family. By learning the skills needed to communicate and work outside of her village, Nang will be able to help her family prosper when she is older.
Mahoy Soy, 14 years old
“I live with my family on our farm near the village. I have four siblings, but two of them died. I am the oldest and have to look after my younger brother and sister. My parents are farmers and we all have to work with them in the fields, where we mainly grow rice. We do not have a motorcycle, but sometimes our neighbours take us to the next village.”
“I look forward to going to the new school. I never went to school before. Sometimes we had lessons under the big tree in the village, but after summer the real school will start. I am very happy and cannot wait any longer.”
For Mahoy, too, gaining a basic education through UWS is the first step towards creating a better future for her family. She will develop the skills needed to gain work outside of the rice fields and will benefit from being able to engage in wider Cambodian society.
Vy Jon, 13 years old
“I am the third child in my family. I have eight siblings – three brothers and five sisters. My parents are farmers and work in the fields to get enough food for our family. Quite often I help them in the fields as well as taking care of our two cows and chickens. It is hard work and this morning I had nothing to eat. We are lucky to have two motorbikes. I can ride both of them but we only leave the village to go to work in the fields.”
“I look forward to going to the new school. I enjoyed so much that the school opened for three days and I got to learn new things. My parents cannot read and write and they do not speak Khmer. I hope to go to the market with my father to sell our farm products – then I could speak Khmer to the people there.”
By preparing Vy for further education and better paid work, UWS will help to ensure that no one in this large family will go hungry on future mornings. Vy’s education will widen his opportunities and support his family business to grow.
Children from UWS schools talk about their experiences
Pong Soung, Commune Chief, Rock, Cambodia, discussed how UWS is helping build a better future
United World Schools is creating stories like these across Cambodia and Myanmar.
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