The Sharing Foundation’s children’s center in Roteang village was built in 2000, setting new standards for compassionate, hygienic, nutritional, and medical care of Cambodian’s children. Home to over 70 children admitted without regard for such diagnoses as HIV, syphilis, cerebral palsy, or hepatitis, some will stay in TSF care permanently. With a caring adult presence, the ratio of nannies to preschool children is 1:2, for school-age children 1:3 or 1:4, and children with serious special needs have their own nannies. Medical and dental needs are met by a Cambodian physician and Canadian dental NGO who visit regularly. Children rquiring special care also visit top specialists in Phnom Penh.
A lively girls’ dormitory, Mary Jane’s House, was completed in 2009. In addition to 18 bedrooms and a few spacious bathrooms, this building has a large common room on the first floor where computer classes are held daily and special events are staged. Elective traditional Cambodian dance and music classes, taught by professional teachers, are popular activities.
Also on site, a dedicated teacher runs a daily preschool where younger children delight in music, painting, books, puzzles and games, experiencing both Khmer and English. In the afternoon, older children utilize this same space as an activities center.
Many of our children attend the Roteang middle school and Jayavarman VII High School five miles away. In addition, those that can pass the entrance exam, are placed at the Beltei private school nearby where smaller classrooms, dedicated staff, and modern resources prevail. All of the Children Center kids have a study time in the evening as well as regular English classes and special tutoring for Math, Physics and Chemistry.
We work with each of our older children and staff to determine the most appropriate path for their future. We hope that many will be able to attend university, and in fact have two graduates and three attending now! Others will better benefit from trade schools, and we are constantly searching for the best options available to satisfy a broad range of our kids vocational interests. Five of our children now attend the widely known Friends vocational program where they live at the school in Phnom Penh. Another one of our young men is at mechanic school in the city and still two others are apprenticing as welders. Our goal is for all of our children, many of whom have been with us since infancy, to become thoughtful, independent, contributing members of Cambodian society.
Preschool and enrichment classes
Teachers at the preschool located in Roteang Children’s Center provide early literacy programs for our youngest children, as well as educational support for our special needs students and any of the kids that seem to need an extra hand up. All students now also benefit from private tutors hired by TSF.