For 16 years Bishop Druitt College has taken students to Cambodia as part of our rites of passage philosophy and to encourage their development and awareness of the wider world. Over the last 4 years BDC has developed a strong partnership with Krou Yeung School, a school in the Ratanakiri Province in North Eastern Cambodia. This partnership is unique and meaningful. It is making a genuine difference to the teachers and students of Krou Yeung School and is also having an incredible impact on the teachers and students of BDC.
BDC has welcomed a student and teacher from Krou Yeung School each year for the past two years. In 2019 BDC welcomed teacher Sokkhoeun Meas and student Rina Kheav. Next week Sokkhoeun returns home, having spent 10 weeks in classrooms learning strategies and developing resources. Rina has been immersed in BDC student life during her time here.
This exchange program relies on the hospitality of families to host these students and teachers, so BDC extends a huge thank you to those supportive families.
‘After 15 years of teaching at BDC I have questioned the impact that international relief programs or fundraising has on individuals in places like Cambodia. To see the changes that the BDC community is having on this school, and in the long term for the community, is overwhelming.’ Joel Blythe, Design and Technology teacher at Bishop Druitt College.
Since the start of this partnership a past BDC student revisited the school and set up a library. And since this time a number of ex-students from BDC have travelled there and offered support in various ways. Last year BDC donated funds (all through student fundraising) to establish a music program for the Cambodian school.
This year in July Joel Blythe will be returning to the school to set up a small woodworking program. Joel will provide tools and teaching programs and will train a teacher to deliver basic building/workshop skills. This will be a valuable program for increasing employment opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach for most Krou Yeung School students.