Two meals are provided per school day for each of the children present with us; in some of the more distressing family situations, these meals are the only ones the children receive. The social workers are working closely alongside these parents, to provide even more consistent and quality care for families in these types of situations. In the coming year we plan to develop our food programme further, to optimize the quality of our food and so enhance their health.
In addition to these changes we have reviewed the wages we have been offering. In recognition of the value and worth of our employees we will ensure all staff receive an equitable wage from this year onward. This will mean an overall increase in the expenditure for salaries. But, we trust it will prove to be a strategic move towards acquiring and supporting capable, long-term staff members.
Each month our social workers have hosted gatherings for the caregivers of the children, both at the project and in the community. It is an opportunity for caregivers to share their experiences and be exposed to new ideas on how to better care for their families. We have noticed the effect of the community meetings – it is a more natural and comfortable setting, where the caregivers can share more openly. The meetings also spark the curiosity of neighbours who have had no previous contact with our project! As a result, we have served 38 caregivers and 12 of them were new parents from the neighbourhood who did not have any connection with our programme before. We have decided to forego the meeting at the project and focus our efforts to meet the caregivers in their neighbourhoods.
This past quarter saw the beginning of a new school year; it is always a pleasure to see old friends reunite after the school break, and to watch new children adapt to a more structured learning environment. We have a total of 119 children this school year – 80 children with us at the project, and 39 children – already integrated into the government school – whom we continue to support.
Many Cambodians are eager to participate in the opportunities that the English language can provide, and we are eager to respond to that! This past quarter Thomas Ashmead, an English teacher from the UK, joined our team to teach our staff and children and to develop a curriculum which we can use in the future. He will be with us until July 2017 and would appreciate your interest in his efforts.
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