One in three Cambodian children will never finish primary school. This means they face a future without prospects, opportunities or hope. ISF’s Education Programme makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of these children, giving them a chance of a better tomorrow. We focus on children from the slums of the capital Phnom Penh who have never been able to attend school or have had to drop out due to extreme poverty. Denied this critical early education, they are left illiterate, lagging behind their peers and lacking in confidence.
Our goal is to enable every one of these children to finish their education and build a better future for themselves and their communities. ISF’s community-based model transforms the lives of these children, by providing them with the quality primary education essential to further development. Thereafter we provide long-term and wide-ranging support to every child in our programme, supporting their development through secondary schooling and into further education or gainful employment.
Sponsor food parcels for three families for a year – US$540
Sponsor a child’s education for a year – US$1,200
Sponsor our computer training programme for 250 children for a year – US$5,000
Academic Support – Catch Up
ISF provides almost 700 underprivileged Cambodian children with a comprehensive fast-track education programme, enabling them to complete two years of ‘standard’ education in one school year. This allows them to ‘catch up’ to the correct grade for their age and join government-provided schooling. ISF follows the same curriculum as state school: Khmer, social science, maths and sciences.
Academic Support – State School
After two-three years in ISF’s programme, when they have caught up to the right grade, ISF students enter government-run state schools. ISF continues to support these children with their education and wider needs till their graduation. Through the use of resources and educational opportunities offered by the Cambodian government, ISF ensures the education programme’s sustainability and efficiency rather than duplicating existing structures.
Health and Well-being
ISF believes that children learn at their best when they are healthy and happy. As part of our holistic education programme, we support the health and well-being of all our children and provide necessary services to improve their physical and mental health. Our Education Centres employ school nurses and a trained counsellor. They work closely with Cambodian government hospitals and health organisations to make sure our students get the best care possible.
In order to support and broaden students’ education, ISF organises several extracurricular activities. We use experiential learning visits to consolidate the theory that students learn in class. ISF also runs a weekly youth club for older students, to support their development and enable them to make positive and healthy life choices. For primary school students, ISF delivers self-development training courses, yoga and Khmer dancing.
To give our students an early start in developing crucial English skills, ISF offers English classes to both our catch-up and state school students. In Cambodia’s rapidly developing job market, high value is placed on English language skills, and many employers require their staff to have a basic level of spoken and written English. English is also a prerequisite for getting into a Cambodian university or further education programme.
The current Cambodian education system does not provide any ICT training for children during primary or secondary school. Since October 2014, ISF has been providing students with training in basic computer skills: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and internet use. ISF employs a full-time ICT teacher so that all our students can access the computer classes once a week, gaining valuable ICT skills that will benefit them in the future.
Due to the high levels of poverty our students and their families face, ISF provides a range of educational resources and other material support needed for full participation in the state school educational programme. This support ranges from uniforms, pens and pencils to school bicycles.
Employment and Vocational Training
A staggering 40% of young Cambodians are unemployed. The government education system does not always equip young people with the skills needed to find gainful employment. ISF runs a personalised employment programme for our students over the age of 14, providing them with life skills, vocational training and apprenticeships. We want to ensure that our students progress to further education or stable jobs.
Teachers in Cambodia have few or no resources. Lecture-style teaching is the norm, and class sizes in state schools are huge. By providing our committed teachers with a hands-on opportunity to learn basic skills in classroom management, effective learning and a whole-child approach while broadening their curriculum knowledge, both teachers and students can flourish.