A school building constructed by Chinese-run NGO Cambodia International Charity Organization (CICO) is seen at the Treap Primary School in Treap village, Chet Borei district of Kratie province, Cambodia, Dec. 28, 2020. (Kotra/Handout via Xinhua)
by Mao Pengfei, Nguon Sovan
KRATIE, Cambodia, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- In a tiny, remote village, roughly 50 km east of Kratie provincial town, the villagers had never hoped that they would have a nice concrete school building for their children.
But hope had come when Chinese-run NGO Cambodia International Charity Organization (CICO) visited the Treap Primary School in their Treap village in Chet Borei district's Thmey commune and decided to construct a two-classroom concrete building here.
Work on the project had been started in October and fully completed last week.
Chhourn Kotra, the 24-year-old headmaster of the Treap Primary School, said the school currently has a deteriorating wooden building with leaked iron-zinc roofing and termites-eaten wall, and it is difficult for students to study when there is rain.
"I had never imagined that there would be a nice concrete school building in the poor and remote village like this," he told Xinhua. "Chinese generous people have made it happen here, and it will benefit the children for decades to come."
Kotra, who has taught at the school for four years, said the school has only two teachers providing education to approximately 70 students in the village.
"We're very happy that the Chinese organization has paid high attention to improving education for children here," he said. "I believe that they will enjoy studying in this new school building."
The headmaster said besides the building, CICO had also constructed a pumping well and four toilets for the school.
"Education is the base for eradicating poverty, so CICO's school building project will undoubtedly contribute to reducing poverty in rural areas of Cambodia," he said.
Treap village chief Sann Meng said the village is home to about 110 households with 425 people, mostly ethnic minority groups of Bunong, Kuy and Stieng.
Villagers depend their living on growing rice and vegetables, fishing, and raising animals, he said, adding that the village is almost inaccessible in the rainy season due to poor village roads.
"It's the first-ever concrete school building in my village and we're pleased to get it," he told Xinhua. "It will enable the children here to have a proper place to learn."
He said the construction of the building truly showed the high attention from the Chinese people to the children in this far-flung area.
"On behalf of the villagers, I'd like to express my sincere thanks to Chinese friends for donating this school building, and we will never forget this generous donation," Meng said.
Officially registered at the kingdom's Ministry of Interior in March 2020, CICO's main purpose is to help construct school buildings in poor and remote areas in order to enable children to have proper classrooms for learning, said CICO's president Ye Linna.
"We want to help children in poverty-stricken areas of Cambodia get a good educational environment so that they can get better education and will contribute to the country's development when they grow up," she told Xinhua.
Treap Primary School is the third school that the organization has helped construct the buildings for, Linna said, adding that the first two had already been developed in Western Kampong Speu province and Northwestern Siem Reap province, totally benefiting nearly 200 students.
The organization has also planned to build two more school buildings in the near future, she said, adding that one will be in a remote area in Northern Oddor Meanchey province and the other in Northwestern Banteay Meanchey province.
"We believe that every school we build will leave the good image of the Chinese people in Cambodia," Linna said.
CICO's school building project has not only helped improve education for children in remote areas, but also contributed to further promoting bonds of friendship between the peoples of the two countries. Enditem