Our second school, Koh Broteal Elementary in Pursat Province, Cambodia, opened its new doors on Oct. 2, 2013. The new, five-classroom building is where over 140 first-fourth grade students learn. The student body is expected to increase in the near future, as this is now the closest school for many children in this rural area.
For Project Lead Mrs. Bonneary Simas and her mother, Ms. Eng Lean Ly, the completion is very personal. Bonneary feels she “was spared to help build the Koh Broteal School.” Both Bonneary and her mother were enslaved in a camp during the Khmer Rouge Genocide, not far from where the new school stands. During her visit earlier this year, Bonneary was able to pay homage to those who suffered at the hands of the Khmer Rouge and even had the opportunity to personally thank the other woman who saved her life — a Buddhist nun who still lives in Cambodia.
This is GLEF’s second school in Cambodia. The funds from our 2012 Annual Gala “A Magical Night in Cambodia” helped kick-start construction. Along with providing the building, we partnered with the Rotary Club of Edmonton West in Canada who donated water projects (well, biofilters, rooftop collection, dugout), school support and supplies, preschool and community coordination. GLEF also partnered with Rotary Club of Pursat in Cambodia to oversee the project’s completion. Our work wouldn’t be possible without these key partners across the world.
“The spirit of Koh Broteal is always with me.” reflected Bonneary.
A grand opening dedication ceremony took place on Jan. 14, 2014. Please visit GLEF’s Facebook page for photos from this special day.