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Pangbourne charity funds Cambodian education programme supporting disadvantaged children

A local charity is funding a critical IT education project in rural Cambodia.

The country has faced numerous political and social challenges due to the impact of civil war — limiting access to education for children aged up to 16 and over, particularly girls.

But Pangbourne-based charity, To Grow An Orchid, is helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to finish their schooling through encouraging IT education — which it says is taken for granted in the West.

Sponsorship of a child through this programme starts from as little as £8 per month
Sponsorship of a child through this programme starts from as little as £8 per month

Many Cambodian children must travel long distances to reach their school, either living in dormitories or staying with relatives in nearby villages.

In addition to working long days in high temperatures and humidity, children must also clean their dormitories, wash their clothes and prepare their own meals on a daily basis.

Local entrepreneur and businessman, Dave Hunt, founded TGAO to assist schools and institutes with teaching subjects such as information technology and social media — not covered by the national curriculum — to improve children’s online safety and understanding.

TGAO’s involvement funds classes teaching children how to use different search engines; the essentials of staying safe online; understanding cyberbullying, fake news and false information; the importance of using passwords; and the dangers of online grooming and how to avoid it.

One child the charity has supported so far is 10-year-old Khoem, who left school at grade 10 after his father died in order to help his mother run their farm.

But after three years of funding from TGAO, he was able to return to school. He has since passed his final exams and has been awarded a scholarship to a university in Phnom Penh.

You can visit https://togrowanorchid.org/ for further information or to support the charity.

Sponsorship of an IT class providing five hours of education to up to 20 children starts from £20 per week.

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