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Asia-Oceania Development Network (AODN)

Recycling and Mobile Library

In November 2015, CAD entered a 12 month partnership with Asia-Oceania Development Network AODN).   AODN provided funding to supply recycling bins to 64 primary schools in Battambang province. In addition, they funded a mobile library to rotate 1600 Khmer fictional books between schools to encourage reading for pleasure.

The money raised through recycling was used at the discretion of the School Directors to buy school materials or pay for whatever they identified as a priority need.  Four of the schools were in a remote wetland area, and getting the bins and books to them was a bit of an adventure!

 

Here is Racky's story, in his own words.  

All schools lack text books for students and teachers. And libraries have little reading books for students, especially for lower grade students (grade 1-3). As for school environment, it is dirty - with hard and soft plastic rubbish everywhere.

When people get sick, especially when children and women who are pregnant have a problem, they have to go to hospital in Siem Reap province by boat. They take a boat across the Tonlesap Lake and it takes around 3-4 hours to get there. If they are seriously ill, they may die on boat.

Their living condition goes down day by day, not go up. And now Tonlesap Lake does not have much fish because of low water and there are a lot of illegal fishing from rich dealers. 

To visit 10 schools at Tonlesap River, the way is far, and it is made difficult by thick water-plants.  Because the water is shallow we can take a truck from Battambang to go half way to BAKPRIA AREA and then we continue by getting on boat. It takes about 8 hours to make the trip.

In both rainy and dry season the trip is very adventurous and dangerous because we have to go on a flooded-river and there is forest, snakes, thick water-plants in river, big windy water-wave across river.  Sometimes the boat got stuck in the river, there were many mosquitoes and no guest-house or hotel so we found some floating-houses that run business by people there to sleep.  

As for the water, it is so dirty and it smells fishy and muddy because many people makes fish-paste (khmer prohoc), and wash the fish with this water.  People also raise crocodiles in the river or on the river bank and let dirty water from the crocodile farm go into the river/lake. 

There are some floating rubbish shops there. They collect bottles, beer cans and metal but the price is cheap. It is $0.10 per kilogram.

 
CAD has a good relationship with key stakeholders such as DoE, School Directors, local authorities and other departments that will be involved in project implementation. When we went to work at wet-land schools, DoE sent two senior officers to work with us. So we went together to work in a difficult area. We had a lot of talk on the boat there, and had a meeting with commune council and SDs at schools to find what issues and problem faced them so that DoE could help.

While we delivered the recycling bin and books, the forest was on fire near school and a lot landmines from the civil war exploded, but luckily the children and teachers were not there. However, we were safe, secure and successful to do our visit there.

It is a pleasure for CAD to implement ReBEL project that was funded by AODN.  We received much new knowledge, ideas and experience for improvement to ensure effectiveness of project implementation

For more information about this project, contact CAD.

Recycling

Photo – Recycling bin is delivered at the start of the pilot program.