After a few weeks exploring Cambodia, myself and partner Joey arrived to TCEC just outside Phnom Penh. We were greeted by the Head teacher Nop Pich, who gave us a tour of the school and introduced us to the staff. We then settled into our cottage, unpacked our things and got ready for our 3 weeks of volunteering.
The next day we visited the school and I was overwhelmed at how hard the children were working. They welcomed us with open arms and asked us many questions. I then started to support a class of 15-year olds. They were very polite and were eager to learn English. We played lots of grammar games and we played drama games, which was a lot of fun. The was such a buzz and energy around the school as all the classrooms worked hard.
I also spent a lot of time in the Kindergarten as this is the age group I teach in the UK. The children were so excited to learn, and they had a fantastic teacher Channa, who is so much fun and passionate about her job. We worked together looking at planning and the learning environment. Whilst I was having fun in Kindergarten my partner Joey supported the teachers with the IT around the school. He helped to fix any computers and helped to set up the Skype connection, so the staff could receive professional development support from Australia.
Joey and I did some teacher training where we shared our knowledge with the teachers.
The last week came around very quickly and we met Lyn Hotchin, the founder. Her passion and care for the school filled us with hope and excitement. We also met Tith Tek the director, who worked closely with Lyn to make the school a wonderful place for the children and teachers to work.
On the last evening we had a delicious meal cooked by Joey and we shared stories and memories from the experience. The staff and children at TCEC made our experience very memorable. The energy from the school was fantastic and everyone was so welcoming. I would strongly recommend coming to volunteer at the school and to get involved with such a wonderful place.
Thank you for having us and keep up the good work.
by IONA NIVEN
(Iona spent two years working at the Kinabalu International School in Malaysia before coming to us, and returning home to the UK)