Cambodia

 

Cambodia is rebuilding its educational system from the ground up after years of upheaval. To aid in this effort, Room to Read Cambodia has led in the field of literacy and girls’ education and works as one of the national government’s primary partners improving Cambodia’s quality of education.

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved. Support Our Work

Post-Conflict Development Poses Difficulties

After years of warfare, strife, and the 1970s reign of the Khmer Rouge, which killed over 1.8 million Cambodians, the country is still clearing thousands of land mines, creating commerce, and reviving their culture. Although the nation has improved its condition and the poverty rate has fallen, many who reside in rural, plateau and mountainous areas remain especially at risk.

Our Work in Cambodia

Room to Read is committed to helping the country rebuild its educational system from the ground up. We operate in government schools within Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng, Tbong Khmum and Siem Reap.

Cambodia’s young readers lack affordable Khmer-language books. With that in mind, we have prioritized publishing local language children’s books since the early days of our operations in Cambodia. Our Literacy Program also establishes school libraries, constructs or renovates school rooms, and trains teachers on a phonics-based approach to literacy instruction. Another large part of our collaboration with Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport includes influencing and drafting literacy textbooks, library standards and reading activity guidelines for all primary school children across Cambodia.

Success in Girls’ Education

We have also had great success with our Girls’ Education Program in Cambodia, which has received international attention. In March of 2015, the First Lady of the United States and the First Lady of Cambodia visited one of our Girls’ Education Program sites in Siem Reap where they met with 10 of our program participants. These students shared their stories of overcoming obstacles to stay in school, and discussed how they have benefited from community-led programs, including our Girls’ Education Program.

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved. Support Our Work

Rebuilding Intellectual Infrastructure

Nearly all educated Cambodians were executed during the Khmer Rouge’s brutal regime in the 1970s. By 1978, there were almost no surviving teachers, writers or scientists in the country—an entire generation of literate role models eliminated.

The Cambodian government has improved the quality of the education system, and in 2014 it increased the annual education budget by 19 percent. Since 2000 the net enrollment rate in primary school has jumped from 83 percent to 95 percent, and gender disparity has decreased across all education levels. Despite the improvements in primary school enrollment, only 53 percent of students continue on to secondary school. Partially, this is due to widespread child labor including farming, scavenging, garment manufacturing, sexual exploitation, fishing, and construction. Cambodia’s schools also lack basic classroom provisions and many classroom teachers aren't properly trained.

The Inequality in Education Challenge

For girls, additional educational barriers exist. Many families continue to see no value in educating their daughters. Instead, girls are expected to help in the home, contribute to the family income, or marry early.

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved. Support Our Work

Room to Read Helps Revise National Textbooks

In 2010, Room to Read Cambodia launched a literacy instruction pilot to improve the way Khmer language literacy skills are taught in early grade classrooms. It was a huge success, and the Cambodian government invited us to help rewrite their grade 1 literacy textbook, so all children in Cambodia could benefit from our program’s best practices. We have since been invited to help revise government grades 2 and 3 literacy textbooks, the new versions of which are now used in public school classrooms nationwide. We have also partnered with local nonprofits to help improve school library management. Thanks to our efforts, the Cambodian government created national minimum standards for school libraries in 2011. They also doubled the salaries of primary school librarians in 2013, after we demonstrated that having a school library is crucial for literacy development.

Life Skills Integrated into Standard Curriculum

One of the key components of our Girls’ Education Program is our life skills curriculum. Our social mobilizers teach life skills education outside of the normal school day, but we have integrated our lessons into standard school curriculum. After training teachers in Prey Veng and Kampong Cham secondary schools on life skills education, officials in Kampong Cham allowed those teachers to conduct life skills sessions for girls during the school day with minimal support from our social mobilizers. We now advocate for additional integration of life skills education into the national secondary school curriculum.

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved. Join Our Team

Room to Read Cambodia
#111 Street 566
Boeung Kak 2
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phone: +855-23-881161

More local information coming soon!

Join the Conversation: Cambodia

Global Role Models

Michelle Obama called them "role models to the world."

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.
Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

2.3x

Second grade students in Literacy Program schools in Cambodia read 2.3 times as fast as students in nearby control schools.

2.3x

Second grade students in Literacy Program schools in Cambodia read 2.3 times as fast as students in nearby control schools.

>500

More than 500 girls in Cambodia have graduated secondary school with support from Room to Read.

>500

More than 500 girls in Cambodia have graduated secondary school with support from Room to Read.

The Latest from Cambodia

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

Seab's Literacy Reroutes Family's Chain of Child Labor


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| May 13, 2017

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

TATCHA + Room to Read — A Beautiful Partnership to Educate Girls Globally


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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

Bringing a Love of Science to Cambodia’s Rural Students


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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

How to Read to Children: Why Training Teachers Matters


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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

Room to Read Celebrates International Women’s Day With Groundbreaking Private In...


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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

“Sam Sat on a Mat” and Other Books That Boost Literacy and Help Children Jump-St...


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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

#ThankstoEducation My Students are Prepared for the Next Grade


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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

How These Two Cambodian Schoolgirls Became Inspiring Role Models for Other Girls...


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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

First Lady Of The United States Michelle Obama And First Lady Of Cambodia Bun Ra...


March 23, 2015

Press Releases, Cambodia

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

The villagers tell her she’s aiming too high, but First Lady Michelle Obama tell...


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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

Michelle Obama visits Cambodia for 'Let Girls Learn' Asia trip


March 21, 2015

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Cambodia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

The Art of Learning to Read: How A Little Frog Named Chek-Chek May Have Changed ...


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