Search Associates is pleased to announce the launch of its new long-term partnership with United World Schools (UWS), to fully fund the construction of a new school.
United World Schools (www.unitedworldschools.org) is a U.K.-based charity that does truly wonderful work, building schools and creating educational opportunity for many thousands of children living in some of the poorest regions of Cambodia, Myanmar, and Nepal. Since its founding in 2008, UWS has given free basic education to more than 16,000 children who otherwise would have had none. Inspired by its mission to “teach the unreached,” the goal of UWS is to raise this number to 50,000 by 2019, and Search Associates is pleased to have been able to contribute towards this goal.
At several of our job fairs, UWS representatives have been invited to speak to both candidates and recruiters about ways in which they can potentially contribute to this important work, for example by forming a two-way partnership between their own school and one of the UWS schools (see http://www.unitedworldschools.org/who-we-are/our-partner-schools/).
One early outcome of our partnership has been the building of a new school for the village community of O Rey, in Stung Treng province, Cambodia. In funding this new school, various Search Associates offices are already making other commitments to UWS. For example, the Hong Kong office, led by Senior Associate Barry Drake, annually contributes to the ongoing costs of UWS teachers and is exploring possible ways of assisting with teacher in-service training schemes. We are humbled to raise enough to fully fund the construction of the school, so we are now its proud sponsors. Search Associates Executive Vice President David Cope commented,
“We are really honoured and excited to have had the opportunity to support the education of the children in O Rey, and we look forward to continuing to support them in various ways.”
UWS School Partnerships Associate Susanna Worth has reported to us that despite the monsoon season coming a month early, the villagers and the UWS team managed to complete the building on time. The school has already opened informally, but UWS is still in the process of training the local teachers, so the official opening will be on October 31st. Susanna remarked,
“I want to thank all of you for everything you have done. Thanks to the support of Search Associates, now the children of O Rey village have a school to attend and teachers who they can understand. By learning the national language, these children will be able to communicate with more people in their community, trade with people outside of their village, and have the chance of a better future. Thank you.”
As the monsoon rain continues to fall, access to the school has become increasingly difficult, but the school remains a blessing for the community. The monsoon itself is another blessing, as it ensures that a community dependent on subsistence rice farming will have enough to eat in the coming months. Susanna mentioned,
“… children have returned to support their families full-time on their rice farms before the new term begins in October. It's hard to fathom, but just eighteen months ago, it would have been beyond the imagination of anyone in the village that they might finish school and be able to access jobs outside of subsistence rice farming. Thanks to the support of Search Associates, this is now the reality.”
UWS is not just about building schools where schools never existed. It’s about changing the lives, the expectations, and the future of many thousands of children and the communities where they live.