Khmer Akphiwat Khmer Organization (KAKO), our partner in Cambodia is active in non-formal education and community development projects in the province of Siem Reap.
In 2007 KAKO ran seven preschools in remote villages around Siem Reap, but in 2009 the sponsor stopped the funding and the preschools were closed. In 2011 KAKO reopened one preschool in Lvea village with the hope to reopen more.
The preschools ensure that 100 to 125 children per year are well prepared to attend primary school, improving their chances of successfully completing their education.
In 2013 KAKO approached us to support the school in Lvea and reopen another two preschools. For this essential part of a coherent educational and health programme, we found sponsors who enabled us to fund the three preschools.
In 2017, KAKO began support for another preschool and approached us for funding, bringing the total up to four preschools.
As a developing country, Cambodia does not have the means to ensure basic education for everyone, especially in rural areas. While primary and secondary schools exist in the larger villages, there is an overall shortage of government-funded preschools. In addition, many villages are too remote for younger children (ages four to five) to attend the preschools that do exist, especially when rural roads are washed out during the rainy season.
This lack of access to early education places children from the least developed villages at an additional disadvantage when they reach school age (6), as they are often not ready and lag behind their peers. It is very difficult for them to catch up and many of these children drop out of school and will not get the chance to continue their education and improve their chances in life.
Goals and Results
From the reopening of the KAKO preschools in 2013, until the end of 2016 over 145 children graduated from their preschools. In November 2015 the government agreed to assume responsibility for the preschool in Stung Preah Srok and absorb it into the local primary school. This gave KAKO the opportunity to respond to requests from parents and, with our funding, to open up another preschool in Kouk Srama Village. In 2017 KAKO was able to open an additional preschool in Kouk Thmei Village.