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Conclusion of Kors Ream Primary School Well and Water System Project - Cambodia
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Evalynn Romano.
To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
SCOPE OF PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The aim of the water project for the Kors Ream Primary School was to implement a strategy for water supply, sanitation and hygiene by means of a well, a hand washing station, water storage containers, a steel stand, and ceramic water filters. The goal was to help the teachers and students of the primary school gain access to water and sanitation in order to achieve safe, clean latrines and water for hand washing, drinking and irrigating the school vegetable garden, in hopes of creating a safe learning environment that supports the health of the primary school students, increasing the amount of time students attend school.
SPECIFIC WORK COMPLETED:
With the help of the funds provided by Water Charity, a well, a hand washing station and a steel stand to support water storage containers were constructed. In addition, two 2,000-liter water storage containers and nine ceramic water filters (one for each classroom) were purchased. The school contributed about 55% of the funds for the second water storage container. Additionally, the teachers planned and organized a school-wide hand washing education day.
PROGRESSION OF PROJECT THROUGH EACH STAGE:
The construction of the well was the first stage of the project. The community was hopeful, however not entirely confident, that water would be found beneath school grounds. The primary school director invited respected men in the village to pray to the gods for water and arranged an offering. After four days of digging, and digging 10 meters deeper than planned, water was found, and the community was overjoyed. The local workers involved in the construction of the well were interested in helping the needs of the primary school, and gave a 20% discount for their services.
The next step was the construction of a 3-meter steel stand to support two 2,000-liter water storage tanks, and the hand washing station. Although the local construction workers have a vast background in their work, they had never constructed a hand washing station before. After just 10 days, a well-constructed hand washing station was situated just outside the latrines.
The station includes a roof to protect it from the rain and a fence that allows the school director and teachers to lock the station during summer vacation. These small but important additions were vital in preserving the hand washing station and allowing long-lasting usage. The local construction workers were happy to be involved with this project as they have children attending the primary school, and gave a discount for their services as well.
The hand washing station was nice, but needed some color. The Peace Corps Volunteer organized a mural to be painted on the hand washing station walls with the help of primary school students. The mural involved visuals and instructions in Khmer on the steps of hand washing as a reminder for the students. The students really enjoyed watching the daily progression of the mural. Several primary school students were able to contribute to the mural by painting their handprints, which became an entertaining activity and memory for them. The students are very happy and excited about their new, colorful hand washing station.
The ceramic water filters were implemented in each classroom. The only source of drinking water on school grounds had been the bottles of water sold in shops and stands around the school that the students would have to purchase. The water filters provides students with easy access to free drinking water.
Finally, a school-wide day of hand washing education was organized. The interactive sessions included asking questions to test the current knowledge of the students, games that helped students to visualize the spreading of germs, a play put on by primary school students of a family at mealtime, a song and dance on hand washing, and then encouraging students to utilize the newly constructed hand washing station to demonstrate what they had just learned. The students were excited to learn about hand washing in the interactive and entertaining methods the teachers used.
The primary school held a celebration for the completion of the project. The school invited monks and members of the community to gather in honor of the donations received. Everyone was in bright spirits and happy to come together for the festivities.
This week, I attended a ceremony held by the primary school for the retirement of the current school director and the beginning of a new director. I was presented with a certificate in your organization's name for the donations that you have given. The school and the community are still very grateful for your support and wanted to make sure that you saw your certificate. They wanted me to send it to you, but I'm not sure that it would make it in one piece. (WC Note: We don't need the Certificate, but thanks for sending the pic.)
The Kors Ream Primary School now has the resources needed for a water supply, sanitation and hygiene. The community is proud to finally secure these resources on school grounds after many years of unfilled promises from different organizations.
REACTIONS AND QUOTES:
“I am very happy for the generous donation. Thank you very much from the school director, teachers and members of the Kors Ream village community. This is the first time any school from the commune is able to secure a well from an organization. It will help students have good health and study well. I wish you a lot of success and happiness.” – Mr. Hem Sophat, primary school director
“Cool!” – primary school students, in regards to the hand washing station and mural
We would like to thank Evalynn once again for executing such a fine project. We are honored to have been involved in helping this wonderful community.