Upskilling Public School Teachers in Siem Reap

Mary-sokha-sewing-cambodia

We at Human & Hope want to see a world where communities experiencing poverty are empowered and developed through locally driven initiatives. We raise funds to support a locally run community centre in Cambodia, enabling them to run their own projects with their local expertise.

One program we financially support is Human and Hope Association Cambodia’s sewing program. Targeted at women who are living in the poverty bracket, and don’t have the skills to gain sustainable employment, this 12-month program takes families out of poverty, improves standards of living, reduces/eliminates family violence and sees women step up as community leaders.

The classes are capped at six students, however for the first time in this program’s history they have taken an extra two short-term students into the program.

We are excited to share this story of Mary and Sokha, two public school teachers who came across the announcements recruiting sewing students and approached Human and Hope Association Cambodia for help.

As schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary and Sokha wanted to use this opportunity to learn new skills that they could then teach their students, aged 12 – 17. Their students had previously expressed an interest in learning sewing skills so they can become more creative [public schools in Cambodia use route learning] and they can use the skill in their everyday lives. Whilst Sokha’s school, Metpheab Khmer Japan Phreahenkoasa Secondary School, has sewing machines that she can teach her students with, Mary’s school, Aranhsakor CFC High School, doesn’t. The school has promised they will purchase machines for the school once Mary has developed the confidence and skills to teach her students.

“We are going to study in the program for five months, and learn how to make boy’s shirt, boy’s shorts, women’s shirts, men’s shirts, men’s trousers and traditional skirts. We are paying for our fabric and threads, but HHA is providing the tuition for free. We are thankful for this,” says Sokha.

Human and Hope Association Cambodia accepted Mary and Sokha’s request to study, as they believe in spreading their knowledge to the younger generation, and are always looking for opportunities to upskill local educators.

We are really happy to join the sewing program as we will be confident in teaching sewing to our students at school. We take turns coming to learn at HHA when it goes to the lessons, because the room doesn’t have enough machines, but this is okay because we have a good teacher,” says Mary.

Mary and Sokha have over two decades of teaching experience between them, and we are thrilled to hear that they are taking a proactive approach to developing their skills and addressing the needs and interests of their students.

We wish them the best of luck!

Human and Hope Association is in need of an additional sewing machine for their classroom, which costs $250. To fund this machine, please contact our CEO at sally@humanandhope.org or make a donation directly through our fundraising page.

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