Here is something amazing – we could build a school for about $5 per incoming freshman in GW’s class of 2014. Just $5! That means if ONLY the class of 2014 (and not the other undergrads, grad students, staff and faculty of GW) skipped their Starbucks for 2 days (not 2 consecutive days – don’t get crazy) we’d have plenty of money to fund a school and a teacher!
AAfC’s Rural Schools Project, founded in 1999, has led the effort to construct over 300 primary and lower secondary schools – with matching funds from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank – to help promote education in rural Cambodia. After construction, each school is sponsored by a donor to provide value-add improvements to further strengthen student education, such as English/computer teachers, Internet, and access to clean water.
The construction cost of a rural school is $13,000. For each donation, $10,000 is used directly towards the construction of the school (matched by the Asian Development Bank for a total cost of $30,000 or above). The other $3,000 is used by AAfC for a general school account that funds performance monitoring, maintenance, the school opening ceremony and overhead. Each school will be named after the donor (or a name he/she selects) and listed on our Rural Schools Project map. The school is 3-6 classrooms, includes desks, chairs, and a well, and is built on land donated by the village or is added to an existing school site. Once a school is completed, it is given to the village. All AAfC schools are recognized by the Cambodian government as state schools, and are staffed by official state teachers who follow the Ministry of Education curriculum.
After reading Half the Sky, I’m shocked by the good in the world that can be done with only $5 per person. Of course, there are literally thousands of good works that can be done to empower women, both individually and collectively, but wouldn’t it be great if the students of GW came together to build the GW 2014 School for children in Cambodia?!