Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The King will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." .......Matthew 25

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Build a School Project - FAQs

1. What is the BASP?

The Build a School Project is a project that was begun about 3 years ago to place schools in very remote villages in rural Cambodia. Many of these villages are kilometers away from the nearest school. Young children often do not attend school because of the need to walk these distances through bad and unsafe dirt tracks.

2. What sort of schools do you build?
We essentially build very basic 2-3 classroom brick schools. The school will have toilet facilities and a bore well in the school premises. We furnish the schools with very simple wooden desks and benches. There is a painted chalk and duster 'blackboard'.

3. What level of education will these provide?
We seek to provide access to schools for the youngest children - so it will be Grades 1-3. We hope that by the time the children complete Grade 3, they will be old enough to be able to travel further to the larger schools, and that they would have learnt enough for them to integrate into the new school environment.

4. What about teachers?
We have a partnership with the Department of Education, so that once the school is built, the government will appoint teachers to the school. So far this has worked out very well.

5. Do you have any ownership or management roles in the school?
No. This school will essentially belong 100% to the community. We seek a healthy relationship with the village so that the village community become committed stakeholders in the school. Our continuing friendship and partnership with the village leadership (through the local pastors) provide a channel for us to support and mentor the community.

6. How much does it cost to build the schools?
Currently (2009) the cost of building the school, toilets and wells, and to provide simple furnishings average about USD$30K. The costs has increased recently. Also, these villages are relatively inaccessible even by vehicular means - via bumpy, pot-holed dirt tracks. This makes it even more costly to bring in construction supplies etc. The Appeal for funds.

7. What other needs do the children have?
The school is very basic and under-resourced. The government does provide basic text books, but often writing materials are inadequate. The children need exercise books, writing materials, other educational aids such as posters, charts etc.

8. How can one contribute?
Donations can be made by cheque or cash. Cheques are to be made out to "Mt Carmel BP Church Ltd". A note should be made on the back of the cheque that this is to be directed to the "Cambodia School Building Project". The cheque or cash can be mailed directly to:

Mt Carmel BP Church
Clementi Bible Centre
152 West Coast Road
Singapore 127370

9. Is this project financially supported by the church?
Currently we do not draw any support from church funds, and the church does not give a grant for this work. Thus, the BASP is entirely funded through private donations. The church office assists us by providing an independent and auditable accounting mechanism for the funds received.

10. What proportion of the moneys received actually goes to the building of the school?
100%. There is no administrative costs drawn from the donations received. All administrative, travel and miscellaneous costs are borne personally. If donations received exceed the budget, the excess is set aside for the next school or is used to support the children's educational needs, e.g. books and writing materials etc.

11. How much experience have you had doing this?
We have been in and out of Baray for the last 10 years. Over the last 3 years, we have built 3 village schools- in Chhom Trach, Ta Peuv and O Ta Saeng.

12. Who are you?
My name's Edmund. Just an ordinary nobody who cares about these kids. You can find out more about me here and here and here.

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