Happy Cambodian Children Project
What is the HCC Project?
The Happy Cambodian Children (HCC) Project aims at giving all Cambodian children better chances for their future by giving them access to quality pre-school and primary education. It is funded by the Kinchan Foundation and KrY is responsible for the implementation of the preschool component of the project whereas KAPE, a local NGO, is responsible for the primary school component.
This project’s approach emphasizes the sustainability of the action undertaken by working with the local communities with long-term goals.
Who benefit from the project?
In 2021, 2349 boys and girls aged from 3-5 years from vulnerable families and their communities are benefitting from the HCC project in Cambodia, among which:
- 489 children in Siem Reap among which 259 girls
- 575 children in Ratanakiri among which 307 girls
- 1068 children in Tboung Khmum and Kampong Cham
- 646 children in Kratie.
Where is it implemented?
The project is working with local communities through the commune councils and with the MoEYS at the provincial and district level in five different provinces of Cambodia.
So far, in 2021, the HCC project has supported in terms of pre-school education:
- 3 community-based pre-schools in Varin district, Siem Reap
- 6 state pre-schools in Siem Reap
- 12 pre-schools in Ratanakiri
- 10 pre-schools in Kratie
- 11 pre-schools in Tboung Khmum and 1 in Kampong Cham.
The story of the HCC project in Cambodia started in 2017 with a pilot project. The pilot project’s objective was to establish three new community pre-schools in the commune of Varin in Siem Reap province where the children did not have access to pre-school education.
Between 2017 and 2018, three community pre-schools were established in three different villages of the commune of Varin and encountered a great success among the local population as the school quickly reached its maximum capacity. Indeed, the project provided a proper building for the pre-school with quality equipment (chairs, desks, furnitures for the students) and pedagogical materials. Before the establishment of the community pre-school, pre-school children had to attend school under the house of one of the villagers or under a tree and the school had very few equipment and almost no materials. Moreover, the project provided the new school with a playground for the kids to be able to play together safely as well as toilets. According to the villagers, the project helped improve a lot the hygiene and learning conditions in the schools for the children.
After the success of the first pilot project, the Kinchan Foundation and KrY decided to extend the project to other remote and underserved locations in Cambodia. Between 2018 and 2019, eight new state-based pre-schools were designed and established in new locations of the province of Siem Reap, Kratie, Tboung Khmum and Ratanakiri.
For the academic year 2019-2020 which started from November 2019 to August 2020, KrY supported the operations of 26 kindergartens with 49 classes. And from September 2020 to August 2021, 17 new pre-schools were built or supported bringing the total of pre-schools supported by the project to 43 constructed and upgraded community and state pre-schools with 87 classes.
From completing the construction work to equipping the pre-schools with learning and teaching materials and playgrounds, the Kinchan Foundation has continuously supported the operations of the targeted pre-school classes. It has supported various activities to improve access to quality pre-school education in remote and rural parts of Cambodia such as capacity building trainings for teachers, salary for community teachers, breakfast and snacks for the children at school, small maintenance of the pre-schools’ buildings, improvement of the school surroundings (garden, embellishment etc.), utilities, and other administrative expenses.
Throughout the project, the model and design for the pre-schools has also improve starting from a simple building with one classroom and toilets for the first cycle of construction to a building with several classrooms, toilets, and a dining area with a kitchen for the schools built during the third cycle.
KrY 's expertise on ECCD for this project
With almost 20 years of practical experience in the field of ECCD in Cambodia, KrY has been widely recognized as the leading NGO through its innovative pedagogy, implementation of Community based Preschools (CPS), Community Mobilization, Parenting, Family Empowering, and Advocacy. Since it was established, KrY has supported rural and sub-urban communities to establish more than 150 pre-schools -85% of which continue to function well (many years after KrY’s involvement) and are sustainable thanks to the community leadership and management. The CPS model developed by KrY (with international partner Enfants & Développement) was scaled up by UNICEF and integrated into the strategy of the government, and more than 2,000 CPS have been created. In addition, KrY has contributed to building the capacity of more than 800 pre-school teachers from rural communities, the private sectors, and NGOs partners through its effective training curriculum and teaching methodologies.