School Supplies Delivery in Cambodia

September is an exciting, though somewhat hectic, month for the Free To Shine team in Siem Reap. With back-to-school right around the corner, our Education Officers and Social Workers are out in the field nearly every day, delivering new school supplies and holding presentations for the girls and families we enroll.

The high cost of uniforms and other supplies can be a barrier for disadvantaged families, preventing them from sending their children to school. At the beginning of every school year, each girl enrolled with us receives a batch of new items needed to attend school, including: school uniforms, shoes, a backpack, books, pens and other supplies. When we enroll a new girl, we also provide her with a bike so that she can travel to school, and a water filter and vegetable seeds so that her basic needs are met with she is at home.

Our staff members hold presentations in each of the villages where we work when they deliver these supplies. The presentations are a great opportunity to communicate who we are with the girls and their families and to share more about our mission, values and services. We make sure that families have our contact information and other helplines to call in case of an emergency. We also love getting to hear from the girls and their parents about how things are going – just yesterday, a young girl stood up and thanked our staff for visiting her each month, saying without their help she probably wouldn’t still be in school.

Seeing the girls we work with so eager to get back into the classroom, and their families committed to supporting them, helps us all start out the year on a positive note.