MAP Cambodia’s Preschool & Day School in the time of COVID-19
By Timon Seibel
August 7th 2020
In 2017, when MAP’s orphanage in Cambodia transitioned into a foster based care and school, there were still children that needed our help and support during the day. For this reason, we added Pre-school and Day School programs at our center. This program offered a reprieve for especially single mothers whose relatives do not live close by. These people need the support of MAP Cambodia’s (MAPC) free Preschool Day School program, as they have to work during daytime and are in desperate need for safe and healthy place for their kids!!
Initially, MAP Cambodia’s Preschool & Day school program consisted of only 5 children from three different families. During the fourth quarter of 2018, 6 additional children from 2 families were added into the program. During our regular social visits to the families living in our community, MAPC social workers discovered that these families had very little or no food to feed their kids, nor did they send them to school.
The MAPC Preschool & Day school program offers a free alternative to these families. With three healthy meals per day and age-based education, activities such as games, songs, Khmer and basic English for the young children and classes such as computer, English and vocational training for the older children.
As the Covid-19 pandemic hit, along with MAPC School also our Day School program had to close as well but we continued providing food for children and teenagers that are part of our program through weekly visits to their homes.
Since then, we have witnessed various negative consequences and influences on almost all the children. For, example a 14 years old girl who lives in a very isolated area far away from our village. Her parents leave in the morning early for work and come back late in the evening, leaving her alone all day. This is just one example of many similar stories.
We decided that we cannot let this continue and we have re-opened the pre-school and day school with very strict hygiene guidelines.
The kids are back at MAPC Day School, thanks to your generosity, and we are now talking with other families offering their children the safe learning space of our Day School.