បុប្ផាលាក់ខ្លួន, pronounced “Bopha Leak Klun”, is Khmer for “hidden flower”. This is the phrase that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport used to describe AIM School in Svay Pak. This was in reference to an old, Khmer proverb about a beautiful thing in a difficult place. What an incredible way to be recognized! Our AIM School leadership and staff is honored to have such high praise bestowed by the Cambodian government. Where once hardship and difficulty prevailed, Svay Pak is being transformed by the love of Christ and the opportunities offered through education, encouragement, and sustainable employment that AIM brings.
Why was the Ministry of Education in Svay Pak visiting AIM School?
Back in the beginning of September, we asked for prayer as Cambodia slowly started to allow students to return to school campuses. While classes were not yet back in session at AIM School, our staff and teachers were working tirelessly to continue educating and serving the students in the community. Now, almost 2 and a half months later, the Ministry of Education has given the green-light to start operating in a somewhat-normal capacity! This visit from the Ministry was to assess the capabilities of AIM School to safely educate students while following certain guidelines and safety procedures being put in place as a precaution against COVID-19. While on his visit, the Ministry member was extremely impressed with the facilities at the school.
What will school look like?
School started again on November 23rd; it had been about 9 months since students have had classes in the building! Although it might look a little different than before, our students and staff are excited to be back to school. Per the Ministry of Education’s instruction, classes can hold no more than 8 students. In the elementary school, given the original class size of 16 students, each class has been divided in half, with half of the students coming to school on Monday/Wednesday, while the other half attends Tuesday/Thursdays. Fridays have been left open for students who need extra help. English classes will resume on a daily basis with more sections to accommodate the need for smaller class sizes.
As 2020 is quickly coming to an end, we reflect on the year as one that has challenged and stretched us in many ways. The AIM School has been challenged and stretched as well. We are so proud of our teachers, leadership, AND students, for their ability to stand under pressure, to grow through the hardships, and to take on these changes with grace. Will you join us in praying for our staff and students? For their health and safety, for their perseverance and strength, and for their hearts to learn and love.
It’s only with the support of people like you that we are able to provide a safe place for children in this community to learn and grow. We are doing whatever it takes to end the evil of sex trafficking, and that includes protecting the vulnerable and confronting the demand for purchased sex. Learn more about all the ways we are working to protect this community here.