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Published on 15th December 2009
In one of the largest schools in Tram Kak district, Takeo province a New Zealand VSA volunteer and his colleagues used International Volunteers Day (Dec 5th 2009) as an opportunity to get the community on board with improving the school environment.
Michael Sheppard is a Primary Education Adviser for the Takeo Provincial Office of Education, Youth and Sport focussing on the Child Friendly Schools programme. He explains that Hun Sen Angtasom Primary School has some building challenges which affect the children's learning. "The school was built in the early 1960's, bombed by the Americans in the early ‘70's, temporarily repaired by the community in the early ‘90's and has been patched up ever since. Only two rooms in this building have been painted since then, and that was when I was here a decade ago."
At 7am volunteers from the school's parent committee, the school principal and staff, and students from the two rooms plus Michael began work to repaint two classrooms. By late afternoon all the walls were finished and, with some filling of holes in the concrete floor - the two classrooms were finished.
"The students, teachers, principal and parent committee have asked me to pass on their thanks to VSA Wellington for making funding available and choosing Hun Sen Angtasom Primary School as the venue for International Volunteers' Day 2009," says Michael.