"My name is Lina and I’ve been sponsored by Children of the Mekong for four years now. I have been attending Samrong education centre and I'm really enjoying my time there. I’m living with other girls who also go to school with me. In the evening I can play with them and then we help each other with our homework. I feel very fortunate to be sponsored, and to be able to study at the centre. I hope to stay here until my bachelorette! Thank you Children of the Mekong!"
- Lina, sponsored child since 2012, currently based in Samrong education centre, Cambodia
Sponsorship allows your sponsored child to have access to education. Thanks to your support, they can attend school every day and no longer need to work in the paddy fields or other harsh environments. In addition, your sponsorship will have a direct impact on the living condition of your sponsored child and his or her family's. It is our main objective to make sure that every sponsored child is schooled, fed and clothed.
A long term relationship based on trust
A donation that gives freedom and comes with responsibilities
The development of children is core to the successful future of their countries
Enfants du Mekong finances and runs 10 education centres across South East Asia. Funds raised by Children of the Mekong in the UK go towards Samrong education centre, located in North West Cambodia.
Samrong is the capital city of Otdar Meanchey province, the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge and educational opportunities for children are very limited. The centre has been running since 2006 and this year 172 children have been given complementary courses and extracurricular activities, so that they can pursue their education.
Our education centre provided support to 170 students, of which 91% were from farmers’ families, and 97% had a monthly income of less than $40. Among them, 72 students from remote areas were living in our foster houses, and the others came every day before and after public school hours to receive supplementary courses. Children in the education centre were aged 13 to 21 years old and 52% of them were girls. The dropout level was only 4.6%, thanks to extensive monitoring and close bonds established with the staff.
The national passing rate of the secondary school final exam (“baccalaureate”) was 62%. But in our education centre, the performance of the students was outstanding as 100% of the students passed their baccalaureate.
Last year, we hosted activities including outdoor and indoor games, handicrafts, and workshops on topics related to health and hygiene, gender relationships and general knowledge.
Courses in modern organic farming were also held with four varieties of vegetables planted.
All of our final year secondary students pursued further education after graduation. 67% of them headed to University, and 33% of them chose to pursue vocational training. The areas chosen included engineering, accounting, agriculture and cooking.
Two students joined our “Centre Merieux” University Education Centre of excellence in Phnom Penh, which provides additional support to University students.
Thanks to Children of the Mekong and our overseas volunteers providing educational support in Cambodia, 71 underprivileged students have reached grade 12 since 2006. Since 2010, 100% of them passed successfully their "baccalaureat".
Want to know more about our education centre in Samrong? Read our previous annual reports here:
Children of the Mekong carries out various development projects every year to improve educational and living environments for children and their families, such as:
- building schools and improving study environments
- renovation of foster homes
- reconstructing communities damaged by a natural disasters
- organising creative writing workshops etc.
Children of the Mekong supports currently the projects detailed hereafter. If you wish to make a donation for one of those projects, please contact Eugenie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3674 1953.
Chin Hills, Burma
Phoum Kham Pov, Cambodia
Lente, Chin State, Burma
Payapiu, BurmaLocated in Eastern Burma, the Shan State has consistently been torn apart by violent fighting. Clashes with the Burmese army, that have involved a large amount of ethnic minorities in the region, has resulted in an unstable atmosphere. Academically, Burma spends only 1.2% of its GDP on education per year, with a gradually increase in dropout levels. Additionally, the labour force participation of children aged 10-14 years is very high. In rural regions of Burma, isolation and remoteness increases the pressure on poverty that is already exerting on school children, which forces them to leave school in order to go work in the rice fields with their parents. Development in Payapiu remains limited, the daily life of villages has therefore remained unchanged, and every morning many children still engage in field work. Children of the Mekong previously supported the building of two new boarding houses accommodating 88 boy and girl boarders from the remote areas of Burma. However, this was only the construction of the builds, and not the purchasing of equipment for furnishing the interior of the boarding houses. Due to the lack of furniture, the children sleep on the floor on rugs, whilst studying and eating on the ground. In response to this matter, this project will provide the appropriate furniture, including beds, tables and chairs. Purchasing these necessities will provide these pupils with living conditions that are more conducive to their development, and to the success of their education. 44 beds and 33 tables will be produced by a local carpenter, assisted by a few workers. Chairs and mosquito nets will be purchased from trade.
Chin Hills, BurmaCyclone Komen struck Burma in August 2015. The Chin Hills region and nearby isolated villages in suffered the most. This resulted in major floods and landslides which caused significant destruction, affecting 1.5 million people, including 550,000 children. Water distribution networks were considerably affected, leaving inhabitants with no choice but to carry water over long distances from nearby springs or streams. Not only are the villages extremely isolated to access, they are also left out of government aid due to their populations belong to the Chin ethnic minority. The project aims to restore access to water for the inhabitants of 5 villages (Surkhua, Khumnoi, Khiangkan, Hiangzang and Singpial). Several initiatives will be carried out such as restoring the connection between water sources and reservoirs by putting new pipes in place, supplying 24 new houses with water in 5 different localities. Children of the Mekong UK will partner with Karuna Mission Social solidarity for their technical support, and will monitor the project with regular visits.
Phoum Kham Pov, CambodiaIn Cambodia, the numerous inefficiencies in the educational system are deeply troubling. Due to the country’s high level of poverty, very few financial resources are allocated to education: only 1.4% of Cambodia’s Gross National Product is attributed towards it (as opposed to a 4.2% average for all developing countries). As a result, many children are forced to forego their education in search of employment. This project is located in a school in the village of Phoum Kham Pov, 15km from Battambang city. The aim is to build two additional classrooms for the nursery in order to welcome as many underprivileged yet motivated children as possible and give them the access to an education. Because the Cambodian state does not cover the costs of maintenance, renovation or classroom construction, Children of the Mekong has decided to take part in assisting the school in finding external sources of finance. By supporting the actions of the Children of the Mekong, you are enabling motivated children to study in an assured environment whilst ensuring real development of the institution’s infrastructures. This project is now fully funded.
Lente, Chin State, BurmaThe village of Lente is located in a mountainous and isolated zone in the centre of the Chin State, Myanmar’s poorest region. The population is of ethnic minority, and for decades the development of the Chin State has been neglected by the Burmese military government. The level of education here in extremely low, as it is not a priority for the families who are struggling to find enough food, water and wood. Due to the absence of support by the Burmese government, religious bodies often act as a substitute in attempting to improve the education system. In June 2016, in an effort to give the children in Lente a better education, Father Mang Ciu Augustin, the priest of the parish of Lente, established a house, the former village chapel, to provide evening courses and space for the children to sleep at night. Tables and chairs are provided to the children to learn in better conditions. However, since electricity is unavailable in Lente, the children are forced to use candles for lighting. Whilst solar panels are widely used in mountainous regions, Father Augustin is still unable to finance them. This project aims to support the village of Lente to allow evening classes to benefit from permanent and safe lighting. This entails the provision of: three solar panels, three batteries, and all of the necessary electronic accessories needed for installation.
Children of the Mekong has implemented numerous projects, which have changed the lives of hundreds of people. We thank our donors and partners on behalf of the children.
Fall 2016: Writing Through Workshops, Banteay Chmar
Spring 2016: Writing Through Workshops
2015: Ban Homephan, Laos
2015: Creative Writing Workshops in Cambodia
2015: Altavas, the Philippines
2015: Bandongsalaokao, Thailand
2014: Porn Sawang, Thailand
2014: Singbawk, Myanmar
2014: Preah Vihear, Cambodia
March 2014: Writing Through Workshops
2013: Ban Khoy, Laos
July 2012: Dedaye, Burma
June 2012: Pyin Oo Lwin, Burma
May 2012: Mark Andro's medical studies, the Philippines
October-November 2011: North West Cambodia
2007-2008: Kompong Svay, Cambodia
2015: Ban Homephan, LaosConstruction of two new classrooms for the school at Ban Homephan village, Laos Ban Homephan village is located in the Khammouane Province, central Laos (LPDR). The village only has one school, which consists of two classrooms and accommodates 50 students that study at 5 different levels. Due to the lack of space, students were forced to study in inappropriate conditions. The project aimed to build two new classrooms for the school to improve the learning environment for the students, and accommodate more students. The expected outcome from the project is to provide good studying conditions for all the children, which will serve as an impetus for them to study and thus it will give them new opportunities in life.
2015: Creative Writing Workshops in Cambodia"Writing Through Cambodia" was founded in 2011 by the writer and teacher, Sue Guiney. She aimed to help children build their self-esteem, practice English, and develop their capacity for original thought in their every-day lives. Children are encouraged to write poems and stories in workshops, produce a printed magazine containing their work, and read their work aloud to an audience. The project also aims to develop the abilities of local English teachers, as they contribute to the running of the workshops. Following the success of a project in March 2014, Children of the Mekong partnered with Writing Through to run workshops for this year. Children of the Mekong employed an overseas volunteer to coordinate the organisation of a series of workshops in their education centres across Cambodia from March to May, 2015. Overall, the workshops were attended by 206 children, mostly girls, and trained 23 teachers and social workers. The outcomes were to help to improve the general academic life of participating students, thanks to the training of teachers. The emphasis on creativity and building confidence also helped to increase class participation and build communication skills, equipping students with the skills they need to attain better job opportunities in the future. Given these successes, Children of the Mekong is planning to renew the workshops and the partnership with Writing Through next year. The programme budget was £5,110. As Children of the Mekong was able to use their own education centres as venues, $1,500 were allocated for the purchase of English books for centre libraries.
2015: Altavas, the PhilippinesIn November 2013, one of the strongest tropical cyclones devastated part of the Philippines. This natural disaster affected nearly ten million inhabitants, including four million children. 44% of our programmes were affected by the typhoon, with more than 600 destitute families around the country. Children of the Mekong, working along with Enfants du Mékong and local staff and communities, aimed to support 150 families in the municipality of Altavas. Our teams organised the construction of 150 typhoon-resilient houses with indoor sanitation, built on concrete pedestal foundations, with bamboo floors and sawali and nipa walls. Construction started in September 2014 with a pilot house, and the project saw 149 houses built between mid-October 2014 – mid-June 2015. Overall, the project constructed housing for 360 beneficiaries. The assistance to these 150 families and their communities also helped to provide psychological and social support by reconstructing schools, restoring households’ economies and using sponsorship programmes to support the most disadvantaged children living in these areas. The total budget was €325,000. The project was co-funded by Foundation de France and also the Moondance Foundation, who contributed €35,000.
2015: Bandongsalaokao, ThailandIn order to support disappearing ethnic minorities, Children of the Mekong launched a project, which would help to preserve the language and culture of the Plong community in Thailand. Predominant Thai culture and lack of facilities are the main causes of a poor knowledge of the Plong language amongst the younger generation. Small number of adults, who are still capable of writing and reading in their native language, tried to teach it at the state school yet unavailability of classrooms and last minute organization resulted in poor outcomes. The main aim of COTM, supported by the village community, was to build a classroom on the ground floor of a Buddhist temple in Bandongsalaokao village near Kanchanaburi. The village monk would give free classes and 25 children as well as 10 adults. Children go every weekend and adults attend classes on Wan Phra (four 'holy' days of Buddhist monks each month). The programe budget was £3,276.
2014: Porn Sawang, ThailandAs a result of local initiative, the Children of the Mekong started a project to ensure sufficient water supply for the 170 residents of the Karen village Porn Sawang in northern Thailand. before the project was implemented, the villagers had to endure a 2 hour-walk from the village and therefore procurement was restricted by the limited means of transportation. While a previous project had provided a cement curb to retain groundwater and direct greater volumes down to the village, the issue of low supply during the dry season (May-November) remained unsolved. In addition, the cylindrical reservoirs were difficult to maintain and had begun to impair water quality. The completion of this project ensured a sufficient water supply for the residents of Porn Sawang year-round by maintaining water reserves in the village, and assist in channelling water to supply all homes with water. The programme budget was £9,654.
2014: Singbawk, MyanmarIn Myanmar, education and health provision are two vital areas that were neglected during the 50 years of dictatorship. Hostel in Singbawk, opened by Father Joseph Phelinglay, provides support to around 20 children from the poorest families that live in the isolated Chin State. before the project was implemented, the biggest problem was the lack of access to public electricity as it is usually cut off from 6pm to 8am. Children were forced to study in Father Joseph's room that is lit with the light bulb powered by solar panel. When they return to the hostel, they had to use candlelight, which poses safety issues in the building made of wood and bamboo. The project aimed to supply the hostel with solar energy without depending on public electricity network. Currently, two solar panels recharge two 150-volt batteries, lighting the rooms where children can finally study in good conditions and in safety. The programme budget was £650.
2014: Preah Vihear, CambodiaIn September 2013, our local office in Cambodia opened an education centre in Preah Vihear, North Cambodia. This center aims to improve the education of 150 children by providing complementary courses and sport/art activities. Children coming from poor families can't afford to pay for the parallel tuitions necessary to reach a satisfactory school level. Another goal was to accommodate 60 children from the poorest families in these areas, allowing them to get a better access to education as the access to schools is difficult for most children who live far from schools in thie region. We had constructed this centre consisted of 3 boarding houses in the previous project and we aimed at building a fourth one to accommodate 20 girls each year, in Grade 10 to 12, who coudn't go to upper-secondary school for financial and geographical reasons. Currently, they can attend school on a daily basis, get a good education level, develop their professional and personal skills and have positive impact on their communities.
2013: Ban Khoy, LaosThis project aimed at financing the construction of an extra building of 3 classrooms for the Ban Khoy Secondary School in the North of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (“Laos”). This school, which welcomes the children of 15 surrounding villages, was overcrowded. With an average of 60 pupils per class, it was far too many to ensure a quality level of teaching. The aid given to the school allowed it to lighten the load on the 3 most crowded levels and so significantly improve the learning conditions for the pupils. At the same time, it has improved the quality of life in this large school for the country as a whole. This project was funded by the students of Bryanston school in Devon. Many thanks to them! Fundraising completed: £12,000 Click here to see the project final report.
July 2012: Dedaye, BurmaIn Burma, access to school is a real problem for children from poor families living in remote areas. Many are forced to end their education after primary cycle. That is why for some years now Children of the Mekong has been helping underprivileged young girls in the Dedaye region and enabled them to continue their education. The foster house consequently serves as an education centre and a living and studying environment for them. This building however needs renovation to render it habitable and to welcome more girls. The renovation works cover: - Insulation of the metal sheet roof, - Build partitions on open spaces to create real independent rooms, - Furniture such as beds, shelves, additional tables and chairs. Click here for more info about this project. Congratulation to Ayo, Duncan, Fang, Jonas, Judith and Taki, who run the British 10K and achieved this fantastic fundraising challenge. The budget of £6,000 is now completed!
June 2012: Pyin Oo Lwin, Burma58 children live in an orphanage run by Sisters in Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay Region, in Burma. The living conditions of the children are tough, especially during the winter because the orphanage is located in altitude and temperature can go really low. Children of the Mekong raised funds to improve the children’s living conditions by providing blankets, bedding and storage space. A Special thanks to Gaël who contribute to 70% of the budget, and to Claire, who decided to ask her friends to make donations for this project instead of receiving gifts for her 40th birthday. The budget of £1,500 is now completed!
May 2012: Mark Andro's medical studies, the PhilippinesThis project consists in funding the medical studies of a very bright student currently in residence at our Cebu foster house. Mark Andro has been sponsored by Children of the Mekong since 2003. In March 2010, he graduated in applied science and physics and pursued a specialisation in «Nuclear medicine». Mark is the second of 7 children and the only one to have pursued studies. His father is a security guard and earns approx €3 a day. Mark is committed to remain in the Philippines to help his family and community as a doctor. A special thanks to Dina, who contributed to 32% of the project and helped Mark achieve his dream.
October-November 2011: North West CambodiaDuring the Automn 2011, Thailand and Cambodia had been hit by unprecedented heavy floods. One of the sponsorship programmes supported by Enfants du Mekong in Cambodia had been severely impacted. Most houses in the village had been destroyed or strongly damaged, 30 families had to be sheltered in the local school for a while. Most of the rice crop were lost. Children of the Mekong did support Kampong Koh families by providing 20% of the reconstruction budget, approximately £1,000 in December 2011.
2007-2008: Kompong Svay, CambodiaImagine Software Inc., a New York based derivatives risk systems company, fully funded this project in Cambodia. The college includes a main building with 6 classes and an annex with 4 toilets and accommodates 300 students. It is built in the village of Kompong Svay and also services another 4 villages. Kompong Svay is located in the district of Sereisophon, in Banteay Meanchey, North-West Cambodia. In detail: - The project: building of a College for 300 students + toilets - Location: Kompong Svay, Banteay Meanchey, North-West Cambodia - Donor: Imagine Software Inc. (www.derivatives.com) - Budget: USD 40k - Timing: works started on 3rd March 2007, expected completion end Sept 2007 - Status: Project fully completed in beg october 2007 and an official inauguration party was held on 16th January 2008 - Latest news: the college welcomes 300 students We would like to thank all at Imagine Software Inc. and in particular Lance and Amy Smith and Scott Sherman. This project is dedicated to the memory of the two Imagine Software Inc. employees who lost their live in 9/11.