Our Programs

CFC’s supportive programs help children make the most of their school day and classroom learning, even as we introduce ever-more advanced teaching techniques and content.

 

Removing Barriers

BreakingBarriers

CFC’s supportive programs make possible the opportunity for children to attend school. According to a UNESCO study, almost a quarter of Cambodian students aged 7-14 are forced to give up school. Parents withdraw children from school in part because they cannot afford the cost of textbooks, transportation, uniforms and school supplies.

CFC provides the necessary tools for children to successfully pursue education including the most basic items: something to write with and something to wear!

How do we do this?

  • Collection campaigns give direction on needed items and provide marketing materials for groups and individuals to organize their own collection drives.
  • Monetary donations, Grants & Sponsorships help us purchase needed items in country, helping our schools and supporting the local economy.
  • Our Goods Donations Team located in Singapore sorts, packs and organizes transport of donated items to Siem Reap.
  • Program Managers in Siem Reap collaborate to distribute the goods where they are most needed.

Seeing Results

  • Increased enrollment and attendance: students start school earlier and stay in school longer. This is especially true for junior and high school students.
  • Improved focus in the classroom as tools are available and within reach.
  • Families can afford to send ALL of their children to school.
  • CFC communities increasingly recognize the value of education and are helping to purchase items where possible.

Goals for the Future

  • Increased community support in Cambodia
  • Sustainability of sponsorship and donations until the majority of our CFC community can purchase needed items themselves

Food for Thought

FFT1

Food for Thought (FFT) provides two nutritious meals a day to thousands of CFC students – over 1 million meals per year. For many, these meals are a reason to attend school, and a large part of why they are able to learn in the classroom. FFT is ranked as CFC’s most important program, according to our students, parents and communities.

At nearly $150,000 USD per year, this is CFC’s most expensive program. The main component of the meals are Manna-Packs of fortified rice and protein contributed by CFC’s partner, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). CFC adds fish sauce with vitamins and local vegetables. Chefs (often parents or grandparents of our students) prepare food beginning at dawn, and serve students breakfast and lunch every day.

Why Food for Thought?

A recent UNESCO study found that Cambodian children are often kept at home or sent to work as early as age 7, as their families face poverty and hunger. At CFC schools, parents do not have to make the choice to keep their child out of school. Children will be fed twice a day, making it far more likely that they will go to school. In a country where 42% of children’s growth is stunted due to malnutrition, and in a region with the highest infant mortality in the country, this program keeps CFC’s young students healthy and learning.

The main benefits of the Food for Thought program are:

  • Relieves families of financial burden
  • Provides fortified meals for adequate nutrition and growth
  • Offers emergency relief for families during floods or natural disasters
  • Keeps students in school and able to learn
  • Stimulates the local economy through purchase of ingredients
  • Includes healthy cooking and best practice lessons for students and families
  • Incorporates life skills curriculum – use of produce from ‘life skills gardens’ and fish raised in school fish ponds

Seeing Results

CFC maintains a customized database housing all health screening information including heights and weights (Body Mass Index). We analyze correlation between nutrition, health, attendance and academic achievement. Our reports indicate:

  • Reduced malnutrition; students show healthier weight and BMIs since FFT began
  • Students attend school regularly
  • Students participate with more vigor and attention, and are able to achieve higher grades
  • Higher retention and graduation rates

Goals for the Future

  • Increase the level of local community support
  • Secure donations to endowment to maintain the program
  • Expand CFC’s garden program, generating ingredients and funds
  • Foster community self-sufficiency, reducing the need for this program

Teacher Training

Teacher Training is how educational change in Cambodia will take root and endure. CFC trains teachers in internationally recognized best practices, adapting classrooms and creating child-centered learning. Teacher training is simultaneously recognized as one of the most important arenas for socioeconomic development, and also one of the least financially supported. CFC teachers go on to train and mentor other teachers, steadily changing the culture of education in Cambodia.

 

 

How do we do this?

  • International Teacher Training bringing teachers to our schools in Siem Reap to deliver workshops several times a year.
  • Mentor Teacher Program identifies leaders in each grade or subject area to assist with role modeling and implementation of best practices.
  • Weekly Meetings with mentor teachers and specialists enable communication and effective delivery of best practices.
  • Volunteer support with resources to supplement training and classroom curriculum activities.
  • Participation in regional and national conferences.
  • Scholarships for teachers to earn university degrees.

Seeing Results

  • All CFC teachers utilize Child Friendly curriculum and best practices : active learning, investigation, group work.
  • CFC teachers create and utilize an array of new resources.
  • CFC staff have been asked to present at conferences and meetings at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
  • CFC staff have been asked to present at Teacher Training College.
  • 200 non-CFC teachers from NGOs, local schools and other organizations have attended CFC training workshops, changing the culture of education in Cambodia.
  • Over 90 teachers are pursuing University degrees with CFC scholarship program, and 23 teachers have already graduated

Goals for the Future

  • Establish a CFC Teacher Training Center
  • Expand Mentor Teacher Program
  • Continue to expand CFC’s Teacher Training outreach regionally and nationally
  • Introduce new best practices at CFC schools

Health Education

Caring for Cambodia’s Health Education program started with basic healthcare for students at our schools. Students’ poor health and several deaths in our first year spurred CFC to quickly focus on building health through basic care and teaching. We now support a comprehensive Health Education Program reaching students, parents and the wider community.

Beginning with early lessons on teeth brushing, hand washing and clean water, students go on to learn more complex lessons on disease and healthy practices, fitness, reproductive health, and more. Our Health Education Program now reaches preschool mothers as well, providing vital knowledge in a country where health care is often inaccessible or unaffordable.

How do we do this?

CFC employs a Health Program Manager and two full time school nurses. A 100% volunteer Health Education Committee, based primarily in Singapore, sends skilled professionals to CFC schools several times a year to screen students’ health and provide trainings. CFC staff provides the following to keep students healthy and learning:

  • Vision screening and glasses
  • Dental screening and referrals to dental clinic
  • Health screening, including height and weight – Body Mass Index (BMI). Students with low BMI are referred for follow up with CFC’s health partner, Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap.
  • First Aid training
  • Early childhood care for mothers
  • Water & Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) standards for each campus
  • Access to clean drinking water at each campus
  • In-kind contributions of soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, first aid supplies and more

Seeing Results

  • Community members use the health lessons they learn; a mother recently intervened with first aid for a child who nearly drowned, using new lifesaving knowledge
  • BMI tracking shows decreases in malnutrition among our students
  • Increased school attendance and fewer infections and illnesses among students (and teachers) have been reported
  • Beginning to integrate health lessons as part of the required curriculum
  • Providing health curriculum to the Teacher Training College in Siem Reap

Goals for the Future

  • A school nurse on each campus
  • All families have access to affordable medical treatment
  • Health modules become part of the regular government-supported curriculum
  • More Cambodian medical professionals

Early Childhood Education

CFC is a national leader in early learning. We provide early childhood education through 12 preschools and a kindergarten program. Our preschools lead the country in best practices and early enrollment. This early enrollment, in turn, makes it more likely young students will stay in school, achieve, and go on to graduate.

Designed to support mothers and teach them skills they were not able to learn from their own families due to genocide and poverty, CFC provides children and families with resources for health, nutrition, early skills-building and more.

 

How do we do this?

  • Large and small group lessons at our preschools
  • A preschool curriculum for both parents and children: how children develop, early literacy and numeracy, first aid, and more
  • Family support through home visits and community meetings
  • Library with preschool resources
  • Teacher training and designated ECE mentor teachers

Seeing Results

  • 93% of CFC parents enroll their children in preschool by age 5, compared to only 33% nationwide.
  • CFC schools enroll more preschoolers than 5 other provinces combined.
  • Alumni of CFC preschool program scored 7% higher in overall semester grades compared to their non-participating peers.
  • Lehigh University researched CFC parents’ attitudes towards learning, and found preschool parents are more optimistic and have higher expectations for their children.
  • CFC preschool programs are more likely to use basic first aid techniques and local programs such as Vitamin A support and deworming.

Goals for the Future

  • A cohort of trained preschool and kindergarten teachers able to mentor and train others
  • All children in CFC system enrolled in kindergarten by age 5
  • Curriculum shared with other schools regionally and nationally
  • Preschool integrated into regular Cambodian curriculum

English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language (ESL) uses contemporary teaching methods and an early start to teach students. Cambodian students typically do not begin English language study until 7th grade. CFC is changing the future for these students by beginning their ESL skills in primary school, and simultaneously building STEM knowledge. By the time these students graduate, they will be among the most employable youth in the country.

 

 

 

How do we do this?

  • Utilize technology in ESL classrooms for independent learning
  • Investment in skilled coordinators, program managers and specialized teachers
  • Investment in training for all teachers, administrators and staff, including higher education and ESL training scholarships
  • Collaborating with the Ministry of Education, local schools and other NGOs to expand the reach of these tools through conferences and open curriculum
  • Practice with native-language speakers through volunteer programs, international schools’ service trips and pen-pal programs
  • Building English-language resources in classrooms and libraries

Seeing Results

  • Integrated curriculum as ESL is learned together with ICT and STEM
  • High school teachers report better performance by students who have taken ESL in primary school
  • The Ministry of Education points to CFC schools as the model
  • CFC ESL staff train teachers regionally and present at national conferences
  • Steady increase in ESL enrollment
  • Expanded ESL instruction from Kindergarten through 2nd grade
  • CFC teachers increased ESL certification

Goals for the Future

  • Increase workforce-readiness and academic skills so that our students can work in growth fields
  • Increased ESL proficiency for all teachers and staff

Libraries

Libraries are where young learners break the cycle of illiteracy that contributes to poverty for many families in Cambodia. CFC’s libraries encourage learners through group activities, book-borrowing and special programs.

Five primary school libraries, two junior high and two high school libraries serve 6,600 students from K-12th grade. The Library Coordinator and her staff train with international teachers and set up programs to promote reading in the library and at home.

 

 

 How do we do this?

  • Library time scheduled weekly for each class
  • Trained full-time librarians at each school, increasing student access and quality of library-use
  • Parents and families come to community reading events
  • High school library research program, the first of its kind in Siem Reap
  • Planned library purchasing, ensuring growth of reading materials

Seeing Results

  • Busy libraries where students borrow books they would otherwise be unable to read
  • Library use is increasing an average of 50% yearly across the 9 libraries at CFC schools
  • CFC communities invest where possible by buying books for the libraries
  • Approximately 250 adults utilize CFC libraries each year

Goals for the Future

  • Increased community support in Cambodia
  • Libraries stocked with new titles each year
  • Provide CFC’s library training to teachers regionally

Life Skills Education

LifeSkills

Life Skills at CFC schools expands the Cambodian curriculum by offering a variety of subjects that build children’s skills. Students learn from teachers and volunteers in classrooms, and at a dedicated building on the Aranh Sakor High School campus. Life Skills subjects include agriculture, electrical, plumbing, bike repair, leadership, art, music, sports, and more. CFC’s Life Skills program builds leadership, motor skills and creativity as well as technical skills that are useful in the job market.

 

How do we this?

  • Student Councils build leadership, initiative and presentation skills
  • Music Program introduces students to instruments, teaches them and provides practice space
  • Fine Arts provides instruction across visual and performing arts
  • Agriculture curriculum offers hands-on opportunities to learn horticulture basics
  • Sports Program develops athletic skills, outfits students with equipment and uniforms for PE class,a nd provides fields and courts for practice and tournaments
  • Dedicated Life Skills curriculum teaches work skills and encourages students to develop and manage their own skill sets

Seeing Results

All CFC secondary schools showcase some of the following, and many schools are proud to showcase all of these accomplishments.

  • Student-led performances at all CFC ceremonies
  • Art displayed at The Bridge Gallery, Siem Reap
  • Student Council conferences and presentations
  • Harvests yield vegetables for sale and for use in CFC’s Food for Thought program
  • Sharing new skills with families and throughout the community
  • Weekly visits by community volunteers in plumbing & electrical
  • Students from primary school to high school have 2 hours of physical education per week
  • Starting in 7th grade, Junior and High School sports approved by the Ministry of Education include soccer (football), volleyball, basketball, and athletics, and our students participate in sporting competitions

Goals for the Future

  • Art and Music programs offered at every CFC school
  • Student Council conferences hosted with schools outside of CFC
  • Pilot micro-enterprise program with produce harvested from CFC gardens
  • Community volunteers available for coaching in every Life Skill

Gender Equity

Girls Matter! is changing lives for girls and their communities at CFC schools. In Cambodia, school enrollment for girls decreases in higher grade levels. Gender Equity education is keeping more girls in school.

Social attitudes toward gender are a strong factor in inequity, as are economics. Staying home to accomplish chores, and caring for younger siblings contributes to the home, whereas a girl in school costs the family money for transportation, books, supplies and uniforms. A significant dropout trend begins around sixth grade. Girls’ lack of education correlates with ongoing poverty, lack of self-determination, and vulnerability to abuse and exploitation. CFC’s Gender Equity Program is breaking this cycle!

How do we do this?

  • Girls’ counselors at junior and senior high schools
  • Teacher training on gender issues
  • College and career preparation support for girls
  • On campus privacy and good sanitation (washrooms)
  • Boys and girls teach gender equity to their peers through Youth Council
  • Private classroom/office where counselors discuss problems keeping students from learning/attending
  • Home visits to discuss issues with parents
  • Community presentations to both fathers and mothers about the importance of educating daughters

Seeing Results

  • Our schools are 50% male and 50% female overall
  • CFC’s supportive programs reduce the ‘cost of sending girls to school (food, uniforms, bikes, supplies)
  • Girls transition from primary to secondary school at a rate of nearly 100%
  • CFC secondary school girls drop out rate is continually decreasing and currently at 6%
  • Our partners at the Ministry of Education point to our schools as the model

Goals for the Future

  • Girls transition from 6th to 7th grade at close to 100%
  • Girls graduate 12th grade and go on to higher education and / or employment at a higher rate year to year
  • Gender equity influences lesson planning in all subjects
  • Parents and communities increasingly value girls’ education

ICT/STEM: 21st Century Skills

Technical skills with computing and hardware, knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics and other sciences – these skills prepare students to work in growth sectors in Cambodia. Other skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, and new knowledge generation are in demand in Southeast Asia’s new economies. CFC students are learning all of the above, often in classrooms that integrate hard and soft skills as well as academic content and technical prowess.

 

 

 

  How do we do this?

  • Investment in infrastructure: equipment, connectivity
  • Investment in skilled coordinators, program managers and specialized teachers
  • Investment in training for all teachers, administrators and staff
  • Investment in creating and sharing curriculum (conferences, open trainings)
  • Collaborating with the Ministry of Education, local schools and other NGOs to expand the reach of these tools
  • Building time in the teaching schedule to implement new methods, skills and areas of study

Seeing Results

  • All junior and senior high schools feature fully-equipped technology labs
  • Consistently higher grades in the sciences on national exam
  • More students choosing to study science and technology
  • Teachers integrate technology across STEM curriculum
  • The Ministry of Education points to CFC schools as the model
  • Utilization of hands on experiments and investigation across subject areas

Goals for the Future

  • Increase workforce-readiness and academic skills so that our students can work in growth fields throughout the region as their country joins ASEAN nations
  • All students graduate with the skills necessary to be competitive for post-secondary study and skilled jobs

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