'Togh Main and his amazing team are bringing hope to Anlong Pi. The gestures are small, a meal here and a job there, but there’s no doubt it will amount to something much bigger. He’s a small town hero and his infectious big heart is catching.' Kaytlin. Click here to see more of Kaytlin's blog with photos.
The Volunteer Development Children's Association (VDCA) is based in Siem Reap, Cambodia
, and was registered as an official NGO in Cambodia in September 2007. We operate a Free School in Siem Reap, and a Free School and Nursery School in Anlung Pi village, 23km from town, located by the garbage dump. Our Free Schools function as supplementary schools to the public school system for the majority of the children. Some students, however, come from families who cannot afford the monthly fee of 6,000 Riel (1.50 USD) for public schools and our free schools may be their only option for an education.
The Volunteer Development Poverty Children's School was first established in 2005 by two Buddhist monks, Rathana Nn and Togh Main, who wanted to give some of Siem Reap's poorest children a future by offering free education and advice. Within just four years, VDCA had evolved from two basic thatch classrooms to a large and colourful school with more than 600 students who enjoyed learning and playing there.
This achievement was only possible with the help of numerous volunteers and supporters worldwide. Our current school opened in August 2008 and offers free English classes, computer classes and other courses to children and young adults. Regular teacher trainings and our International Volunteer Program constantly improve the quality of the education provided.
A core team of regional agents supported by a number of partners and numerous donors worldwide ensure the continuous development of the school. Our website not only provides detailed information about the school, our volunteer program as well as news from the school but also wants to establish a direct connection between the school community and its current/potential supporters and volunteers.
Through free education, create a brighter future in which the new generation of society's poorest have the opportunity to realise their dreams and escape the cycle of poverty in which they find themselves.
Siem Reap is the most popular tourist destination in Cambodia and learning English is essential if our students want to get a job in the tourist industry in the future. Although Siem Reap benefits from increased tourism, this has unfortunately also attracted those who exploit children. VDCA provides a safe, supervised and positive environment for children in the afternoon. Once students finish studying or working in the morning, they spend their afternoon at the school learning and playing and are not on their own in town. If Cambodian children are left on their own, there is the possibility that they may become a victim of exploitation.
Further, Cambodia has the highest HIV/AIDS rate out of all of the Southeast Asian countries, so the information the children receive from our teachers during health and moral classes is vital to keeping them safe from infection. Foreign NGOs often invite our teachers to attend health information sessions and the information they get is then passed onto the students. Since Cambodia has very strong Buddhist traditions, children are also taught Buddhist values to help them develop into responsible adults.
VDCA also helps to support and develop the skills and understanding of Cambodians for a more sustainable future. For example, during the construction of our new school, we employed Cambodian construction workers and used materials made in Siem Reap. Whenever we develop a new project, we look for opportunities to utilise the skills and abilities of our older students. We use the skills of local craftsmen with all furnishings and fixtures. This way, we are contributing to economic development of the area.
It is Our Mission to:
1. Enhance and develop general educational levels of underprivileged children with a focus on:
Improving students' language skills via focused language tuition in predominantly but not exclusively English
Addressing the environmental and health issues effecting children and young people (HIV/AIDS awareness, general hygiene, drug abuse, child trafficking, pollution, climate change, global warming, environmental sustainability )
Giving children life skills and philosophy to help them deal with daily life (moral, spiritual and Buddhist education)
Supporting and sponsoring children interested in higher education
2. Teach the students to become responsible for their own lives, actions and to make decisions for positive change.
3. Support the staff dedicated to this school via teacher training and financial incentives.
4. Give foreigners the chance to contribute to development via volunteering.
5. Promote Cambodian ownership and sustainability of the school.
Our proposed budget for April-December 2015 is detailed below for each school and project.
VDCA Free School and Head Office
Anlung Pi Free School
BTIC Nursery School, Feeding Project and Housing Project