Social Learning - Cambodia
A Project of Grade 10
The Grade 10 Social Project in Cambodia fits into our social learning model as it allows our students to have the opportunity to give back to people who are less fortunate, have suffered greatly from civil war and are trying to recover and improve their quality of life. GESS works with two NGOs in Cambodia.
The trip lasts 10 days and covers the cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. It provides a good chance for teachers and students to bond and work side-by-side away from the regular school and classroom environment.
In Phnom Penh, GESS works with the Tabitha Foundation, which aims to help people in villages to become self-sufficient and non-dependent on donations. With the Tabitha Foundation, our students build simple houses in cooperation with the Cambodian people, who will eventually live in them. It is a greatly rewarding feeling when the completed house is handed over to the families (of up to 5 people) who will eventually move and live in the single-room construction that our students built with their own hands.
While in Phnom Penh, our students also visit some of the historical sites (the Killing Fields and S21 Tuol Sleng Museum) to provide historical context for why they need to work and support the people of Cambodia.
Our students next travel to Siem Reap and work with the NGO Husk. Husk works with some of the poorest of the poor to ensure that their housing will withstand the effects of the monsoon rains. In comparison to the Tabitha houses, Husk takes a very different approach. Here, our students use palm plants and wire; taking on board some of the traditional methods of construction.
Husk also works with the local people to develop their English language skills so that they may be able to get a job in Cambodia’s ever-growing hospitality industry. The communities also engage in environmental construction in which our students also help to construct buildings using recycled plastic bottles.
While in Siem Reap the group visits the amazing temples of Angkor Wat. The students also learn how to do some Khmer cooking and put their simple Khmer language skills into good practice in the race around the city with our Khmer tuk tuk drivers.