Dec 1st, 2022 12/01/22 | News

Second CCF Kindergarten Opens

60 children will start new CCF kindergarten in a partnership with Yeo’s Cambodia

Starting school is a big moment for any child but for these little students it’s the beginning of a life-changing journey that will hopefully lift them and their families out of poverty.

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Dressed in smart new blue and yellow uniforms, the latest Cambodian Children Fund (CCF) additions waited patiently in line to start at a new kindergarten built in one of the most deprived parts of Cambodia.

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The facility, the result of a partnership between CCF and leading Asian drinks brand Yeo’s Cambodia, which contributed $50,000 USD for the build, will give 60 underprivileged children the chance of an education.

Amid much excitement, the kindergarten opened on 5 December to welcome the first pupils through the door.

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L: TOP: The new CCF kindergarten

The kindergarten, which is CCF’s second, is for families on the south side of the former municipal dump in Steung Meanchey, Phnom Penh, living in a squalid area which had no provisions for children’s education.

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Children run barefoot on dangerous ground
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This provides not only a solid foundation for future study…but a safe environment

— Scott Neeson, CCF Founder and Executive Director

Without it, vulnerable children would be left to fend for themselves during the day while their parents are out working, at risk of harm and often without food.

“We are delighted to have this new education facility for the youngest children in the Steung Meanchey area,” said Scott Neeson, CCF’s Founder and Executive Director, who attended an earlier opening ceremony with representatives from Yeo’s Cambodia and senior government officials.

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Scott Neeson (centre) at the new kindergarten opening ceremony

This provides not only a solid foundation for future study but a place for the children to receive adequate nutrition and a safe environment while the parents are at work. I am very grateful to Yeo’s for their contribution,”

CCF is committed to giving the poorest children in Cambodia the best possible education, and to be there for every child.

The kindergarten will run a full-time program for children aged three to six with four classrooms and a playroom, along with nutritious meals for children who might otherwise go hungry.

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It means children at risk are off the streets and into a classroom, out of harm’s way and in a safe place where they can learn and thrive.

Children like Punthea, five, who used to spend her days running around barefoot on a litter-strewn ground that is their playground in the community.

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Punthea in the community where she lives

The difference as she stood proudly to wear her new kindergarten uniform is just the start of a transformation that could take her all the way to university if she has the ability and desire.

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Punthea in her new CCF uniform

Without our help, Punthea is unlikely to have ever gone to school. Her family survives on the small income of the father, who repairs bicycles for a living.

It didn't take long for Punthea to get comfortable in her new routine as she settled in well with her fellow kindy students in the classroom.

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Punthea in the new CCF kindergarten

CCF’s experience shows that the sooner children get into school, the better the long-term outcome.

Educating children not only puts them on a pathway out of poverty but can end the generational destitution that has blighted their families.

Many children in disadvantaged communities in Cambodia face barriers that keep them out of school or away from early learning opportunities.

We’ll make sure Punthea is clean, clothed and fed, with access to medical care when she needs it. Her family is now living in a CCF World Housing home, giving Panha a stable environment.

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Punthea and her family have a CCF World Housing home
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The private sector has a huge role to play in society

— Ozgur Simsek, Yeo Hiap Seng

Yeo’s (also known as YHS or Yeo Hiap Seng) launched “A Million Cans to Build a Dream” campaign giving people the chance to contribute to the fund for the new CCF kindergarten by purchasing Yeo’s drinks.

Part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is to give less fortunate children educational opportunities and make a lasting impact for families and communities.

“The private sector has a huge role to play in society. At Yeo’s we believe that together we can build the world we want to live in. This is the reason we partnered with the fantastic Cambodian Children’s Fund, which continues to make a difference for the community,” said Ozgur Simsek, Managing Director Emerging Markets, Yeo Hiap Seng.

By ensuring marginalized - and often forgotten - children get access to the education they deserve, CCF is putting them on the path to a brighter future that might otherwise be blocked to them.

CCF currently supports the education of around 1,700 children in one of the most impoverished parts of Cambodia.

Written by

Kate Ginn

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