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Village Preschools

 

Sustainable Cambodia's preschools have become one of the most popular programs with the village families. The concept was originally proposed by the mothers in the first village in which SC worked. They proposed that their families would build the preschool if SC would assist them with materials and support for the teacher.

The program worked so well that most of the subsequent villages chose to build a preschool, too. The schools provide the village mothers with a place to care for their young children (3-6 years of age) during the day, so they can be gainfully employed. Importantly, the childcare center simultaneously provides a stimulating learning environment for the children. Sustainable Cambodia provides training to the village women who staff the center, and contributors have donated many fun and educational toys.

The preschools have also become an important link in the health and nutritional wellbeing of the children. Within the first year of the first preschool, SC's health managers realized that many of the young children who were attending were severely malnourished. Working with the village families, and with Rotary clubs in Western Australia, a nutrition program was developed whereby the children get a hot, protein-rich nutritious meal once a day, provided by village mothers with the funding assistance of the Western Australia Rotary clubs. The result has been astounding.

The program is designed, as well, to include interactive toys and games, and a stimulating environment to entertain and teach at the same time. The intention is that children who spend their formative years in these centers will enter school ready and anxious to learn.