We just wanted to give you a quick update on the work we have continued to do through the last 12 months.
The Ponheary Ly Foundation was founded in 2005 when Cambodian tour guide Ponheary Ly met American tourist Lori Carlson. Ponheary had spent previous years as a teacher. She knew the value of education in children as her Father was a teacher and used to support children one on one and do extra programs after school at the school she taught in. While working as a tour guide, Ponheary used to encourage the tourists to sponsor a child for education rather than purchasing souvenirs from the children selling them on the streets outside the temples. When Lori heard about the work Ponheary was doing she was inspired and returned to Austin, Texas to set up a foundation to help her broaden her efforts. After two years of visiting Cambodia, Lori relocated to Siem Reap to work daily with Ponheary and the children of Cambodia.
Working together, School Uniform Shop and City of Hereford Rotary Club have funded three inspiring programs, all at Koh Ker School in Cambodia.
- The Koh Ker School Library
- The Wellness Programme at Koh Ker
- English Language Instruction at Koh Ker School
We have also supported a school uniform initiative this year at Koh Ker School. For children living in Cambodia having a school uniform is so much more than what it seems. For most children around the world, wearing a school uniform can seem like a chore but for children in Cambodia they are unable to attend school unless they have a school uniform, so for them it is so much more than just something to wear. It represents an opportunity to get an education to have a better life for themselves and their families.
Many families in Cambodia will choose one child to attend school and rely on that one child to come home and teach their siblings. The Ponheary Ly Foundation supply every child at Koh Ker School with the supplies they need to attend school, with the hope that eventually every child in the village of Koh Ker will be able to attend. The cost of uniform and supplies is $20 per student but unfortunately this is out of reach for most Cambodian families who live in rural poverty engaged in subsistence farming with too many children at home.
In these photos you can see just how proud and excited these children are to be receiving their school uniform. Ponheary Ly Foundation currently supports 2,800 students at 6 locations and provides these students with school uniforms every year.