Our last newsletter of 2020
Hello friends and supporters of The Cambodia Academy! We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy and are looking forward to 2021, as we are!
There's no question that 2020 certainly has been one for the history books. In spite of the challenges we've all faced this year, we at The Cambodia Academy are reminded how lucky we are to continue to support more than 300 students and their families in rural Cambodia.
Even in these difficult times, we strive to carry on the work of Hans Eide and keep his spirit and memory alive for the children who meant so much to him.
How the school--and Cambodia--are doing Cambodia has done a very good job of controlling the spread of COVID-19, but the economic and human costs of the shutdown measures have been severe.
As a country heavily dependent on tourism, there has been a drastic loss of jobs and the economy overall could contract as much as 5.5% this year. According to the Asian Development Bank, the pandemic could push 1.3 million people back into poverty—about 8% of the population. (The national poverty line is defined as those existing on $0.93 or less per day.)
Our school, along with all schools in Cambodia, was closed for several months over the summer. We were granted permission to reopen in September with a long list of hygiene and social distancing requirements from the government. We have been operating safely since then, with no reported cases of COVID-19 among our students or faculty.
This month, the government asked all private schools to close through the end of the year due to rising virus infection rates in the country.
We were not able to visit the campus this year or hold our annual donor event in Siem Reap. However, we have been in almost daily contact with our faculty and staff to ensure that the campus is in good working condition and that we are complying with all government regulations. During the summer break, we were able to install a new school sign by Highway 5, perform road maintenance between the highway and the school, and do some much needed repairs around the bathroom facilities.
The board is active, and meets officially every other month (and unofficially much more frequently) by video conference. We are proud to be in a safe and stable operating condition, and we are aware that our role as a lifeline in rural Mongkol Borei has never been more needed.
Our ninth grade study trip to Angkor Wat
We mentioned this on our Facebook page, but in early November our 9th graders had a fun and educational study trip to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. While delayed a bit this year due to the pandemic, this has become a great tradition over the past few years, and one that we're very proud to support.
This outing gives our graduating class the opportunity to learn more about the rich history of Cambodia and to celebrate their hard work at The Cambodia Academy. Congratulations to all!
Inviting our next first grade class
Every year, principal Soviet interviews families in the province for the limited number of children we can accept into the school. This year we once again will take the maximum possible of 30 students. We are so excited to welcome these new students to the Cambodia Academy family and will begin look for sponsors to give these deserving kids education and hope.
Our sincere thanks
To all of our supporters: thank you! We hope we say this enough, but we’ll say it again: we are so very grateful for your continued contributions.
Without you, none of what we do is possible. Your donations make education a reality for students who otherwise may not have the opportunity to learn, and this is a life-changing gift in Cambodia.
As we move into 2021, we need to ask for your help to ensure our ability to continue to provide for the students and teachers. If you have not donated in a while, please consider making a contribution. If you’d like to speak with any of the board members for an operational update, please let us know and we’d be happy to talk.
You can help us by continuing to renew your donation, and if you haven't contributed in a while, we'd love to have you back. We are a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization, and the board is volunteer--your donations go directly to supporting the school.
If you know of friends or organizations that might be interested in becoming a part of the Cambodia Academy family, please tell them about the school! We have lots of materials that we can share with you to pass out and, as always, we can be available to make video presentations to clubs or prospective donors.
We wish you a very happy holiday season and a prosperous and safe 2021!
For the board,
John, Rich, Gunvor, Michael, Brian, Hank, Jill, Sebastian, Richard, and Kathy.