Cambodia: Impact of Lanterns Heard through Recipient Voices and Seen by Numbers
A report came from World Vision International - Cambodia, an international NGO that supports children worldwide. Cities are electrifying, but nearly half of rural areas don't yet have electricity. Solar lanterns have been a big help for children receiving tutoring lessons to keep up with school.
Hello. I am Sokhim Phat from World Vision International - Cambodia. The solar lanterns we received by donation from Panasonic in March 2016 were distributed to 14 districts in five provinces of Cambodia, and today they are helping the education of children mainly in areas without electricity.
Takeo Province where World Vision has been providing ongoing assistance is south of the capital city of Phnom Penhn and borders Vietnam. Many areas here are not yet electrified, with the electrification rate in 2010 at only 64%.
Here I would like to describe a case from Trapeang Tonle village, where solar lanterns are being used on the frontlines to support child education.
NIN Noeun (34) is a villager supporting World Vision's activities by helping school children with their studies. Noeun once noticed some children's class participation dropping off and found that they were rather negative about studying.
When he delved deeper, he found that these children were having a hard time keeping up with classes in school. So he gathered them together and offered study support by holding tutoring from 5 to 6 pm after school finished for the day. But darkness fell quickly as this was right at sunset, so it was difficult to continue tutoring for the full hour.
"I want to continue the lessons and restore children's motivation to learn."
Hearing Noeun's earnest appeal, we sent four Panasonic solar lanterns to the tutoring school. Noeun later responded: "Thanks to the lanterns, I am able to continue teaching math and the Khmer language even after darkness falls each day. Currently I have 25 students. During breaks they pass the time by using learning materials and reading books, provided by World Vision. I am very happy to be able to help all the children's studies."
Ten-year-old Sophanmay said, "I was not able to read and write as well as my friends. I felt embarrassed about myself and didn't want to go to school." But she smiled , saying, "But Mr. Noeun encouraged us, so I studied a lot at home and at school, and now I can read and write. This month my class marks were sixth out of 42 students. I promised my mother I would be fifth next month."
Noeun has a dream.
"I want to talk to the local government and expand this tutoring, so that more and more children can come. I would like to create space for a small library and learning materials. In other areas as well, if only we had solar lanterns, we could hold evening tutoring classes and support more children. I am really grateful to Panasonic and World Vision for the solar lantern donations."
The light of the solar lanterns is giving a big boost for children in villages to enjoy studying and learning. Through the team work of World Vision and Panasonic, we can support the studies of the children who hold our future. Let's continue providing support in the future.