I was fortunate to be able to visit both the old school and the new school site, which is coming on very well in preparation for their full move there in October this year. I was able to see the construction progress for classroom number three (of a planned five), the library, and the completed computer room, toilet block, and water station (that provides water for the villagers). I was particularly excited to learn about the plastic bottle construction technique that they are using for their classrooms – they are the first organization in Cambodia to use this method, which prevents landfill waste and they learned about it from someone in Costa Rica, so it’s very new and innovative! They collect old bottles from businesses in Siem Reap and then they give these to the poorest families in the villages who stuff them with plastic, cotton, and other waste materials. Then the families trade the bottles with HUSK for whatever they might need – food, mosquito nets, school uniforms, bags, bikes, etc. They like to ensure they do not create dependency in the villages and instead promote self-sufficiency. The walls will last around 70-100 years and prevent thousands of used bottles from ending up in a landfill.
Co-founder Lim explained to us how grateful they were for the GoPhil community’s support during Covid, as it meant they could continue paying the salaries of all their teachers and staff and support their villages with critical food supplies.