KHEN is a Cambodian non-government, not-for-profit, non-political, non-religious, equal opportunity, child safe organisation focusing on education and child rights in rural Battambang Province. https://www.khencambodia.org/
KHEN is an NGO agency and the Community Schools it builds to support the needs of the communities are typically funded by individuals or other NGOs. It identifies a need for a school through meetings with community leaders and then meets with the whole community to discuss their contribution and how the school will take shape. A School Support Committee is drawn up from the community and a KHEN staff member attends meetings to guide their deliberations. A skilled carpenter is selected to oversee the construction of the school and local village heads take responsibility for organising voluntary community labour.
The local Education Authority is consulted and the views of the Provincial Education Department are solicited. These consultations are important in gaining eventual ‘Recognised Status’ for the school, which commits the authorities to providing equipment and salaries for teachers.
The model is to build schools with three classrooms, with concrete floors and wooden walls on a steel super structure supporting an aluminium sheet roof. It incorporates a toilet block with separate facilities for boys and girls. All the communities make contributions towards the cost together with materials of timber and labour. KHEN employs skilled labour and provides the essential construction materials and pays for transport to the sites.
Schools are constructed, depending on transport logistics, the time of year and weather conditions, over a period of two to six months. During the process KHEN staff and external consultants – Mark Mckeown, (former CEO of Children in Crisis) and Construction Expert Ratana Rong- visit the site regularly to ensure quality, deal with contingencies and encourage community engagement.
When the school is finished, an official opening ceremony with VIPs, the community and of course children is arranged.