Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Parliamentarians see the positive impact of Australian Aid

In January, a group of Australian MPs visited aid projects in Cambodia as part of a special learning tour. With representatives from both sides of politics, the five-day visit was an opportunity for Australian ministers and senators to see the incredible work being undertaken by the Australian Aid program first-hand.

ChildFund Cambodia’s education project in Svay Rieng, implemented in partnership with the Kampuchean Action for Primary Education, was a highlight of the tour. The project uses a ground-breaking approach to improve literacy skills, utilising mobile technology to help children learn more effectively. Older student tutors are paired with younger student learners to help them read and write using special reading toolkits and tablets. Outdated school libraries have been redesigned to make them more fun and appealing for students to use.

Senator Linda Reynolds with local students who have been benefiting from using mobile technology in the classroom

The parliamentarians spoke to ChildFund staff, teachers and students during the school visit; with all being impressed by the innovative nature of the project, the dedication of teachers, and the enthusiasm of students.

ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence said: “This education program has the funding support of the Australian Government, so it was a very valuable opportunity for the MPs to see how organisations like ChildFund can deliver projects that are not only cost-effective and value-for-money, but which deliver real and lasting improvements for children living in poor, rural communities in Cambodia.”

Lisa Chesters MP with students in Cambodia

Writing about her visit in the Bendigo Advertiser, Lisa Chesters MP (pictured above, right) said: “The pride and joy of a rural Cambodian primary school in Svay Rieng is their new library funded by Australian Aid at a cost of $9,000. The students delighted in showing us their Samsung tablets with interactive learning games, favourite books and learning resources. The school also has a thriving kitchen garden and music program. The teachers credit having these resources and programs for the school’s higher attendance rates.

“The school in Svay Rieng represents what can be achieved when we prioritise education. Australian Aid plays a crucial role in international development. With our support, countries less lucky than our own are finding a path out of poverty.”

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