Cambodia Children to get connected

A local family is set to provide a boost to vulnerable children in rural Cambodia through a project to help them learn English and IT skills, as they are connected to the internet for the first time.

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College were happy to help with a donation of more than 20 laptops after it was approached by the parents of college business lecturer, Caitlin McReynolds.

Sylvia and Sean McReynolds asked for support for the Honour Village charity in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where children and the local community benefit from tuition, support and employment opportunities.

The McReynolds have been involved with the charity for more than six years and are now living in Cambodia where they can see the organisation’s valuable work at first hand. Having first visited the country in 2002, Sylvia and Sean started volunteering to help, eventually working at the centre for three months each year before permanently relocating there.

Honour Village supports 560 students between the ages of three and 20, creating opportunities for them to progress through education. It also provides a boost for the local economy in Siem Reap, employing 18 Cambodian staff. The organisation attracts volunteers from all around the world, and particularly from the UK and France, who are often inspired to become teachers themselves.

The charity was keen to maximise the benefit of getting online but has been dependant on donations to acquire the equipment it needs to access the internet and teach young people IT skills.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “We were delighted to help with this request for support for vulnerable young people in Cambodia.

“It is second nature for us to regularly upgrade our IT equipment to give the best possible experience for our students. We can imagine how difficult it was for these young people to learn without access to the internet, and we’re very pleased to help them to progress by passing on laptops that we no longer need.”

Sylvia Reynolds said, “We have been inspired by the work of Honour Village and have been pleased to support its young people for several years. We are so grateful to the College for this donation which means that the charity can hopefully now work with its contacts at the Hong Kong International School to provide 121 teaching online.”

Caitlin McReynolds explained about the work of Honour Village to her business students and was surprised and delighted when they planned an enterprise event without telling her, raising £90 for the charity. This sum, along with the 23 college laptops, will now be taken back to Cambodia by the McReynolds family when they return to the country later this year.