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how it came about

Through the Teachers Across Borders Principal’s Leadership and Administration workshop in June 2016, Thy and Susie met the principal Mr Lim KimEang of Kuok Nguon secondary school. While offering to fix the well at his school, he told us he needed a school building. This became the site for the first school. The second school was built at Porpel where Narith is principal. All schools in Kampong Thom province require funding for new buildings and/or renovations to existing buildings. Through workshops in the planning department of the Provincial of Education, a group of Australian and Cambodian co-workers established a framework that could determine a priority list for future school buildings and facilities as funding became available. Unfortunately, there was no funding to populate the framework and it remains incomplete. School building continues in an ad hoc manner through relations between donors, principals and community chiefs. The two schools built follow this model. 

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A new classroom at Porpel primary school.  Image: Susie 

Kuok Nguon

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Kuok Nguon Secondary School previously an open air structure.  Image: Susie 

Kuok Nguon Secondary School under construction.  Image: Susie 

The concept of funding and building a school in Cambodia formed part of the research for Susie’s PhD that investigated ways of communicating human equity across cultures. The school took two years to build from concept to completion. A local builder was employed and the co-workers lived at the site. The school had 90 students before and 230 students eighteen months after completion. It is a year 7 – 9 school and students travel primarily by push bike from up to 5 kilometres away.



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The Australian’s involved in the research project developed an understanding of human equity and chose to fund raise to build a second school. The site was chosen by the Australians after developing a working relationship with Narith as a translator. After reopening the school in 2012 with seven students Narith now has five teachers and seventy-two primary students. In addition ten pre-school students attend with their older siblings.

The completed Porpel school.  Image: Susie 

One of three similar classrooms. A three classroom brick building was constructed on the existing slab. Image: Susie 

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The schools building projects are outside our tax deductibility status.

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