Tuesday, 16 September 2014 01:30

Building a Kindergarten for the children of Oudong.

The completed foundations for the kindy The completed foundations for the kindy

Building a Kindergarten for the children of Oudong, Cambodia

It’s been almost a year since we committed to building a kindergarten in Cambodia. There is much need in countries like Cambodia for good education and far too often it’s a sector that is neglected. It doesn't take a lot to see the flow on effects of quality education from an early age. It’s an issue right at the heart of breaking the cycle of poverty.

At the beginning of any project of this size there are many things to consider which required us to be in Cambodia to get the ball rolling. On the initial visit, Paul was not able to travel, so I travelled alone to work out the early details.

First up I had a meeting with our trusty partners Habitat for Humanity Cambodia with the new CEO Don Boring and Kar. Initially we intended to build the kindy on some Agricultural land next to the New Life village (one of our earlier projects). As it turns out, that land could not be used due to its costly lease terms which meant an alternative had to be found at short notice.

It wasn't long though before we were back on track which I have to say was a real answer to prayer. Pastor Simon of the New Life Village offered the use of a piece of land on his church land for the Kindergarten. This is situated opposite the Holistic Community (1km from the NLV). The next job was to find an engineer to draw up the plans.

A gentleman by the name of Mr Pov agreed to do this for us after hours in his own time which took him three weeks. We settled on an overall size of 24m long by 10m deep. The main building will be divided in to 4 classrooms with a 2 metre wide veranda around the outside for the children to place their shoes and bags.

While we were waiting for the plans to be done, we moved on to the many other things that needed our attention such as water supply, fencing, gates and the list on.  Within no time a well was sunk on the land complete with a push bike pump to get the water up, the land was fenced with galvanized fencing and gates were sourced for the entrance. Due to the cost of having new gates made, we decided on using second had ones. In Phnom Penh and found ones we liked for $300 consisting of double gates for vehicle  access  then a single gate for people to get through. The cost of getting them delivered to Ou Dong was $25US. With some solid elbow grease, cobalt blue paint , sandpaper, thinners and scrapers  we got to work restoring them and within a couple of days had  them looking brand  new. I must say I had my share of blue paint on me. lol

I ended up sleeping at the NLV for a couple of nights make sure the gates got 2 coats . Thank you to Simon, Chandy Vibol and the students from Simons senior English Class for all their hard work.

Next on the agenda was a meeting with Chandy who is the leader of the New Life Village and Mr Pov the engineer. Simon translated for me. This was to organize the digging and laying of the Kindy foundations. Chandy said that he and 14 others would do the work. He is a skilled builder and he was able to organise some semi skilled and unskilled labor to help. Wages range from $10US for skilled , $7US for semi, and $5Us per day unskilled. We agreed to get the work done in 27days with Mr Pov on-site for  3 days a week to oversee. Each man was given a work contract  which they signed using their thumb print. We paid for the Materials and Mr Pov salary and set the builders to receive a weekly wage.


The day that I left to fly home was the day that Chandy’s team started work.