When the Covid-19 restrictions were eased in March 2022, PKH resumed its operations at all 4 locations in the Kampong Speu Province. Due to the long hiatus, less than half of the children returned to the classes at the PKH Centre for Before-After School Care in Trang and the PKH English School in Chbarmon. Thankfully, the situation improved and today, classes are running near 70% capacity.
At the PKH Centres in Chbarmon and Aoral, residential vocational training is conducted for 65 young men and women. God-willing, 45 of them will complete their training and be placed out in jobs by the end of this year, while the rest will progress into their 2nd year of training. With improved Covid-19 safe management measures, PKH aims to enrol 120 young men and women for its next training cycle at the start of 2023.
In May, this year, 9 members of the PKH Board travelled from Singapore to visit all at the PKH Centres. They were happy to make these observations which had taken place in the past months:
- Stringent healthcare protocols involving daily taking of body temperatures, frequent hand-washing, the wearing of face masks and safe-distancing in the classrooms, dining halls and dormitories. Visitors to the Centres are advised to self- test for Covid-19 and to refrain from visiting if they are unwell.
- Pivoting from physical class training to a hybrid of onsite and online classes.
Children were enabled to learn from televised educational programmes and youths had English lessons conducted for them through tele-conferencing. There was a rush to acquire electronic equipment and gadgets for learning.
- Repairs and renovations were carried out on the facilities at the Centres. These were done by the PKH staff team during the months when, per government directive, all training and classes had to be suspended.
- An increased awareness of the need for staff and students to care for one another. The willingness to on the part of each person even to make personal sacrifices is helping all at PKH to emerge stronger together.
- None of the national staff were laid off and all expatriate volunteers stayed on in Cambodia to continue the work despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Furthermore, this team strength was increased when 2 ladies joined the teaching team, recently: Ms Yit Ching Li, a professional from Malaysia, volunteered to serve in Trang, and Ms Orm Chendamony, a Cambodian national, joined the staff in Chbarmon. The latter graduated from PKH in 2010 and she had worked her way up to becoming a duty manager in a five-star hotel.
We wish to thank, our friends from overseas and the Cambodian men and women who once trained with PKH, for their unflinching support of PKH, especially during these past 2 years. Your prayers and visits, as well as your acts of kindness and contributions have encouraged us greatly to press on with this work of helping the poor.
On 25 June, Thy Sothea, a 2008 PKH graduate who is now the Chief Executive Officer of a group of three companies, visited the PKH Centre in Chbarmon. He and his staff brought lunch packs for all at the Centre and gave a tonne of rice, 30 ducks and a financial gift. He encouraged the trainees by sharing his experiences when he was training in PKH and his life after leaving the Centre.
Safe distancing during meals in the dining hall.
At PKH Aoral Centre, 25 young men are being equipped with Industrial Skills.
The trainees learn English by going online with teachers based in Singapore.
At PKH Trang, more children are steadily returning to the Centre for meals and lessons.
At PKH Chbarmon, trainees in Hospitality Services getting ready to serve as waiters in a hotel for a dinner function.
Children at the PKH English School, including a baby girl, newly born of Teacher Sopheap and his wife.
During the months when the Centres were closed, PKH staff spruced up the premises and repaired the facilities.