Flame cambodia phnom penh centre update blog post

In February we shared photos of a temporary classroom which would eventually become Flame Cambodia’s fourth activity centre, and we are delighted to share news of progress made since then! 

There are three centres already in Sen Sok, Steung Meanchey, and Bong Tom Pun, and this Centre, funded by InTouch Global Foundation, will attend to children from the Boeung Trabek community in the capital city of Phnom Penh. In Cambodia, public schools are only open for half the day and Flame’s centres serve to provide study assistance and extra tuition to all children – even those not officially enrolled on to their programme. 

Classes are given in Maths, English, Computing, Khmer (the national language of Cambodia), as well as in dancing and music, providing invaluable benefit to children who may have missed years of schooling due to poverty, helping them to catch up with their peers. Flame also ensure that no child leaves the centre without having something to eat; every child receives a meal and a carton of milk when they visit. 

What started out as a temporary makeshift classroom consisting of plastic tables and chairs is now laid with concrete and, as of last week, has a roof! Walls will not be erected to give the structure an open setting. The idea behind this visibility is so that the classroom is viewed as being as accessible and approachable to children in the community as possible. Upcoming developments also include setting up solar power to run security lights at night, providing sustainable and affordable energy for the facility. 

The children, all from backgrounds of poverty and deprivation, are eager to learn. Nicola Palairet, Communications Director of Flame Cambodia, says of the centre,

“We have 55 children coming most days, and they really are engaging and learning. There are about 500 kids in the wider community, which is overwhelming, to say the least, but our work is significant in the midst of poverty. Without education, these kids just don’t have a pathway forward. 

We have been getting feedback from our staff that the kids’ attitudes are changing and improving, and I believe this new facility is what is making the difference… because we are now a stable part of the community, there’s a sense that we are committed, and we aren’t just fly by night, here one day, gone the next. This makes a difference to the kids. Our partnership with IGF is essential and has been the catalyst for change and major upgrades!”