Cambodia is an ancient civilization with a long history and the world famous cultural heritage — Angkor Wat. Cambodia is a butterfly basin surrounded by hills and mountains. In stark contrast to its unique natural environment, Cambodia has a very serious polarization between the rich and the poor, which is known as “one of the world’s least developed countries”, and an extreme shortage of educational resources. Most schools have only three or five classrooms with minimal facilities, and students may drop out at any time.。
From 22nd to 27th December, 22 students accompanied by WUIS teachers started a 6-day volunteer teaching activity in Cambodia. We shared our high-quality educational resources, teaching methods, knowledge fields and world views with children in these poor areas through volunteer teaching, so that the current situation of lack of educational resources can get more attention.
The volunteer teachers made a brief self-introduction. Some senior students also gave a warm welcome to the volunteer teachers with local dance performance.
Before the formal classes, volunteer teachers went to the children’s families to learn about their living conditions. They were all shocked by everything they saw. ‘Compared to these children, I seem to live in heaven,’ our students plaint. ‘We often get absent-minded in classes, ask our parents for expensive clothes and complain about not buying the latest mobile phone…what a shame.’ After the home visit, the volunteer teachers were more determined to give the children some good classes.
The courses they have prepared over weeks can finally be demonstrated. Our volunteer teachers have prepared a wealth of thematic courses: Chinese, mathematics, painting, Chinese culture, handicraft and so on. Before, they were students sitting there listening to the teachers but now, they are the teachers standing on the platform. Excited, nervous, and also responsible, they all tried their best to make each lesson as perfect as possible, and share with the students their accumulation knowledge and insight.
In addition to the volunteer teaching, the teachers also took part in the cooking class to learn how to make the most distinctive Cambodian cuisine. They also went to the night market and found many treasures.
Of course, you can’t miss Cambodia’s landmark and the world’s largest temple, Angkor Wat. Through nearly a thousand years of time, the history of the ancient kingdom solidified into this eternal landscape, deeply engraved in the heart of every volunteer teacher.
The 6 day trip ended with a caring embrace between our WUIS student teachers and their Cambodian students. Our volunteer teachers have a brand-new cognition of the outside world and have grown up a lot. ‘The children are very obedient and worked very hard. Their voice is quite loud with good sense of rhythm. I can feel their deep desire for knowledge. I hope they will get better and more people will get to know them. I will come back here to continue this loving career if I have the chance to’, said Grace. Looking back on this experience, Joe said, “it was a great experience, I was not used to a strange place at the beginning, then I led the group to start the teaching smoothly. Not only did the children here learn new knowledge, but also we learnt a lot’. Cambodian children, goodbye, we will meet again!