Kindergarten programme

Two children playing with alphabet toys

Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre (SWDC) has two children’s education aspects. A school sponsorship education program and they also run a nursery for children aged 3-6.

The pre-school and kindergarten programme is aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 6. The aim is to provide children with the foundation that they need to be successful in life as well as raising the economic wellbeing of the region in the future. According to UNICEF, less that 26% of Cambodian children between the ages of 3-5 have educational opportunities and parents can often not afford both the direct and indirect costs of sending their children to school. SWDC aims to change this.

The kindergarten started off aiming at the children of employees of SWDC, but because of it’s huge success, can now offer an education to the children situated within the town of Stung Treng. So far it has been operational for 13 years and has seen 864 children ‘graduate’.

The Kindergarten is offered free of charge, with breakfast and snack meals offered throughout the day to increase the protein levels in the children’s diets. Toys and books are available to all children, meaning parents are not struck with any indirect costs of education. Children who attend the Kindergarten are then filtered into the school sponsorship programme. In addition to the free education, children are taught about nutrition and cleanliness, and any health concerns can be diagnosed and treated on site.

School sponsorship programme

Child receiving a school uniform

Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre (SWDC) has two children’s education aspects. A school sponsorship education program and they also run a nursery for children aged 3-6.

The school sponsorship programme is aimed toward the more deprived children in the area in order to enable them to attend both a public primary and secondary school. The programme supports 100 children per year, and has so far seen 1,144 children from impoverished families gain an education. The programme enables and encourages children from low income families to attend school and continue their education for longer than they would be able to without funding.

The programme increased in awareness of the value of education, by making it more accessible to families whom do not have the spare finance to afford an education for their child. It also increases the likelihood of employment for those children in the future.

In addition to the school fees being covered, the programme also provides a support pack, comprising of books, stationary, uniforms, sandals and money to pay for school administrative expenses. Bicycles are also provided for children who live a far distance from school.

Computer Laboratory and English Language Programme

Picture of women attending a computer class

Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre (SWDC) runs a Computer Laboratory and English Language programme for women. The centre provides computer training and English classes for 80 women (typically relatives of trainees and employees of the centre who tend to be the more disadvantaged in the region) per year, free of charge.

The aim is to improve both English Language and Computer Literacy skills in order to have better job prospects and opportunities, as English is a widely spoken language within Cambodia and both computer skills and the ability to speak English is becoming an ever increasing requirement in many sectors.

Within the classes it is also the aim to improve women’s job preparedness, self-confidence and self-perception of abilities. Both classes run either during the day or evening in order to accommodate everyone.

Medical Clinic

Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre (SWDC) has a health care clinic which provides health assessments, diagnosis and treatment free of charge to everyone who is involved within SWDC (typically the poorest within the region, who may not be able to access healthcare regularly). The clinic also has a maternity care centre which offers both pre and post natal care, as well as care for newborns.

Women are also educated on health issues, these sessions are taught by the chief of the clinic, and a professional midwife. These sessions include primary health care, nutrition, hygiene, birth control, HIV/AIDs prevention, prevention and treatment of common problems (diarrhoea, malaria, dengue fever etc.) and the use of basic medicines. The regular education sessions enable women to care for their children in times of illness and also help to stop the spread of infection.

So far, the clinic as diagnosed and treated over 4,352 patients. Due to the free access to diagnosis and treatment, patient’s standard of living and health has improved.