Director of School Relations David Cope received word this August: the United World School (UWS) that Search Associates is sponsoring in the village of O Rey in Cambodia continues to grow and thrive. The number of students has grown to 179, and there are now 11 teachers, including two from the local community who have been recruited and trained by the organization. Despite some flood damage during the long, summer monsoon season—which the O Rey building team has been working hard to repair—student attendance rates have remained very high.
The involvement of students in the upkeep of the school’s vegetable garden is an increasingly important aspect of the interactive learning environment that UWS is creating at O Rey School. This not only improves the school environment, but it also enables students to learn essential farming skills without missing any school. The nutritious food grown in the garden benefits the children at school and their families at home. The many flowers and trees planted by the community on school grounds have created a beautiful environment for the children.
UWS is a UK-based charity that builds schools and creates educational opportunity for many thousands of children living in some of the poorest regions in the world. Since its founding in 2008, UWS has given free basic education to more than 30,000 children who otherwise would have had none.
Sustainability is a priority! UWS wants to ensure that its primary schools remain in their communities to serve all future generations. The organization is committed to eventually transitioning each of its schools to local control over several years. Cambodia is first in line.
With the support of the UK-based Education Partnerships Group (EPG), UWS and local education authorities will launch a transition pilot with five Cambodian schools. The process will last three years to ensure that the highest standard of education is maintained. The UWS August 2019 Newsletter shared a note from a study done by the EPG:
They . . . concluded that our work aligns with the Cambodian government’s recent commitment to building 4,000 new primary schools in remote communities.
O Rey is now one of 90 UWS schools in Cambodia, giving education to over 11,000 children who otherwise simply wouldn’t have any. UWS has also established itself in Myanmar and Nepal. In total, more than 150 communities in these three countries benefit from having a UWS school. Search Associates is truly proud to be a partner of UWS in its dedicated and highly effective work of “teaching the unreached.”