NEW BATCH OF CCF ADULT LITERACY GRADUATES
Proving that it is never too late to learn, our parents, grannies and grandpas put on their caps and gowns for the CCF Adult Literacy Program graduation. With a royal guest and a sudden rainstorm, the ceremony was one to be remembered
At the age of 64, granny Chhorn has been learning to read and write. After many months of dedicated studying, she can now read and write in Khmer. Her story, like many of her fellow 50 graduates, begins with a lack of opportunity.
“I didn’t go to school when I was a child, when CCF opened the adult literacy class it was the first time I had the chance to get an education,” explained granny Chhorn.
For our grannies and grandpas, once forgotten members within their own communities, this graduation was especially important. Many of our elderly community were denied the opportunity to attend school as a child.
“I was not allowed to go to school because my parents believed that if i went, I would learn how to read and write and then I would write love letters to boys,” explained granny Sean, 67.
CCF was honoured to have Her Royal Highness Samdech Reach Botrei Preah Anoch Norodom Arunrasmy in attendance, and her visit bought an air of excitement to the Neeson Cripps Academy where crowds gathered.
In a heartfelt speech, Her Royal Highness Norodom Arunrasmy empathised with the graduates, revealing that her own formal education had been cut short at the age of 14.
After a traditional Khmer dance performance by the grannies, the ceremony ground to a halt as the skies opened up. The quick actions of CCF’s students saw all equipment and guests rushed inside where the ceremony picked back up after a short break. A little rain wasn’t going to stop this show!
The Adult Literacy Program, which has been funded by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and taught by volunteer Leadership Students, has bought a new lease of life into the community. And more importantly, the program is not only educating adults, but it is aiding the education of their children and grandchildren too.
“I will use this literacy achievement to educate my grandchildren and I will teach them to study hard,” said granny Sean.
Educating a child is a long term investment, but educating their parents and grandparents at the same time makes the return bigger, faster, and instills a sense of family pride. And now there will be an extra 51 pairs of attentive eyes to look over school reports.
“It is very useful to know how to read and write. Now I will know what my grandchildren’s school reports say, they won’t be able to lie,” said granny Chhorn, who is the primary caregiver for eight of her grandchildren.
The diversity of CCF’s beneficiaries was best captured at this graduation: from an 81 year old granny and a 51 year old mother, to teenage Leadership students and young children and grandchildren, this is a program that will have a positive effect for generations of CCF community members.
If you would like to find out more about CCF’s work, click here.
Alice Brown/ CCF
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