Thursday, August 25, 2011

First day of teaching in the KKEV village

This morning at 8. a.m I moved in the KKEV village (around 30 km away from Phnom Penh). This is a German NGO established in Cambodia in October 2006. They are fostering one hundred children until the age of 18 (21 for the ones that choose so). The children have different backgrounds: HIV parents, victims of violence, homeless and abandoned children. There are 45 girls and 55 boys, and the average age is 9-12 years, but there are also two found babies.  

The children go everyday to a public school with a KKEV bus and have English, art and computer classes in the village. Also children from outside are coming for English lessons.

It is hard to describe the atmosphere here..when I first arrived to visit the village two days ago all the small children from the Kinder-garden jumped on me and tried to take me to their house in the village. During lunch everyone eats together (children, volunteers and staff) and afterwards everyone cleans and puts the tables back. The meals are very basic: always rice with vegetables and a piece of chicken or fish. On some days we get also dessert (today we were lucky;). 

The English class is very small with wood benches and some colored vocabulary posters. The English teacher , Mister Mai tries to compensate by his good will and I have to say I was surprised to see to what level he brought the older children from the school only in three years.  

Today I had three classes of two hours: 10 years old, 15 and 16-18. It was quite challenging because I never taught before and besides that I know very little about the Khmer culture and language. I felt like every gesture counted and I tried to teach them as much as I could, make it fun and involve them in the dialogue. Conclusion of the day: I have to learn how to draw better, get used to stand and talk all day long and smile every time I don't understand something. 
There are many things  I want to do here besides the English classes. First I would like to get some working computers because there are only two old Pentium left for one hundred brains. As I noticed it is very complicated to receive donations in computers because the governmental restrictions. The only solution I could foresee for now is to get donations in money and buy the computers here. For now we are also using my computer for projecting DVDs but it is crucial to ensure some continuity. For that the English teacher would need a decent laptop as well. 

I am also going to organize some workshops with the staff on computer use and media literacy. I believe they could pass on the knowledge and that's important. How about you? What would be the first thing you would teach to one hundred children and why?


  1. Hi Steffi... beautiful job and great experience. I'm sure that you'll be fine. Usually, when we work with communities, are much important their questions that your own answers.. Keep an open mind!

    Buena Suerte.

    Un abrazo desde Colombia y disculpa mi inglés.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi Johny, you are right, I am really trying first to understand their culture and adapt as much as I can in order to be able to help them with what they really need.
    Thank you for the valuable advice and don´t worry your English is perfect!

    Un abrazo!