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Seang is Soaring!

Seang is Soaring!

This summer was the most rewarding summer; I planned and led an impactful project at home (Cambodia). My project’s name is “Knowledge at Your Fingertips.” We bring knowledge to the students’ fingertips by constructing a library, purchasing eight new laptops and training students in basic computer skills at “Coconut School” on the Kirirum Mountain in Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia. I applied and was selected for “Project for Peace” grant ($10,000)  and received the SHE-CAN “Make A Change” grant ($2,000) to execute the project.

Why “Coconut School?” I chose the Coconut School because it is a school that is on a rural mountain in Cambodia and it provides free education to students in the village. Coconut School is known for using trash to build their classrooms. They use recycled materials such as glass bottles and old car tires for their classroom’s walls. In the past, the Coconut School director had asked the Ministry of Education to build a public school on the mountain, but the proposal was rejected because there were not enough students. Even though the number of students was not a lot, they still should not be neglected. ​

One of the grants I received is called “Project for Peace.” It made me think about peace and how I define it. I define peace as not leaving anyone behind. As our society progresses, not many people are privileged enough to follow the quick change. Those young kids on the mountain are also human resources of Cambodia, they should receive education and skills as everyone else.

I still remember a student came to me during the break time and asked to practice more computer typing. She told me she is 12 years old and she is in grade 2. I was thinking she should have been in grade 6. The pandemic has caused a lot of disruption to this community. There was no online learning like the majority of American students had access to. Again, it proves that my worries were right. They were left behind. 

To a lot of people outside of this community, it seems simple to just learn to type. However, some of the students at the Coconut School have never seen or touched a laptop before, so learning to type on the laptops brought them so much joy and hope. It made me realize that we have taken the things we have access to and use in our daily lives for granted. They have made me even more humble and grateful.