Since 2010, IMC has partnered with the Caring for Cambodia (CFC) charity which supports ten schools in the Siem Reap area. Staff members of IMC worked closely with Caring for Cambodia’s Health and Dental Committee to address the healthcare needs of the children attending the CFC schools.
The first quarter of 2015 saw Clinic staff travelling to Siem Reap in collaboration with other volunteers from Caring For Cambodia providing Growth & Vision Screening, and First Aid Training for Teachers
March 2015: Growth & Vision Screening
Over three days, seven volunteers performed measurements of height, weight and vision testing on 842 students from grades 1, 3 and 5 at Bakong, Kravaan and Amelio primary schools. All the data gathered was concurrently entered on the CFC database.
Six children were identified with vision problems and were referred for formal vision assessment. A further six children were noted to have other medical issues and will be followed up by the CFC School Health Care Team. Overall, there has been an improvement with the body mass index among the students.
Malnutrition affects nearly 40% of Cambodian children. In an effort to combat this, CFC schools provide the Food For Thought programme where students (and family members) have access to nutritious meals twice a day on campus. The volunteers were able to see this programme in action and enjoy some after-breakfast fun using art to play with the children.
April 2015: First Aid Training
Two medical volunteers from the Clinics joined the CFC School Health Care Team to deliver three days of first aid training to over sixty CFC schoolteachers. Their efforts were supported by translators from the Angkor Hospital for Children, and the group was delighted to welcome the Regional Minister for Primary School Education as a participant in their first class.
Using real-life scenarios to test and expand newly acquired first aid skills, the course workshops were dynamic, engaging and marked by enthusiastic participation from teachers and staff.
As a measure of the program’s success, trainees were tested on their first aid knowledge before and after the sessions. Post-training scores improved from 49% to 91% proficiency. Such improvement clearly indicates both the need for training and the quality of the instruction by our outstanding medical volunteers.
In an effort to further empower members of the CFC community, School Nurse Im Uom and his staff are now training all student council members on these first aid techniques.
Other News – Michelle Obama visits CFC’s Bakong High School
First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama visited Bakong High School in March 2015. The students who met with Michelle Obama are part of GirlsMatter, CFC’s gender equity program that many of the team members in Siem Reap and many volunteers around the globe have worked hard to develop. CFC believes that all girls around the world can make a difference. CFC whole-heartedly supports the #letgirlslearn initiative which Michelle Obama has been championing.
There are thousands of schools in Cambodia and having Michelle Obama visit one of CFC’s schools is indeed a wonderful show of support from the United States. Once again, the Cambodian Minister of Education’s Hang Chang Naron’s declaration that “Caring for Cambodia is the model for all schools in Cambodia” is proof that CFC as an organisation are doing something right.
For more information about Caring for Cambodia click here.
To read more about IMC and Caring for Cambodia’s collaboration click here.
To read more about the collaboration from a staff member’s perspective, click here to read Expat Living’s article ‘A Healthy, Helping Hand’.