Ten Year Milestone

This year sees the tenth anniversary of INitiate in Cambodia. Ten years! During that time more than 1000 sets of PCs have been shipped and installed in schools and other government institutions around the country. Approximately 200 teachers have been trained and - ok we're guessing - 8000 students have received their first IT training in INitiate-equipped labs.

To mark this milestone we were delighted to receive a delegation headed by Grace Fu, Minister of State for National Development of Singapore. Several senior members of PA and PAYM also joined the party, along with INitiate's chairman, Jackie Goh.

Every year one or more groups of students from Singapore visit Cambodia and spend time in the schools where INitiate are active. This April the student team timed their visit to coincide with that of the high level delegation so that they could be part of the celebrations.

This time around the youth teams were based in Sa Ang High School and Kampong Kantuot High School, and it was to the latter that the ministerial delegation paid a formal visit on 03 April. After a warm welcome, speeches and an exchange of gifts, the group were shown around the school, taking in the teaching activities being run by the Singapore students before visiting the computer room.

Ministerial visit on 10th anniversary

Grace proved herself to be a charming lady, quick to grasp the local situation and ask many pertinent questions. As she was ushered from the computer room she commented that she could easily have spent the whole morning there chatting to people. She would have been very welcome.

The students found much to enjoy during their time together and undertook various jobs around the schools as well as making time for learning and social activities. And the students at Sa Ang cooked a typical Cambodian meal for their guests, which unfortunately we missed!

On the evening of the school visit the Singapore students and delegation hosted a banquet in Phnom Penh.  Among the guests were Secretary of State for Education, HE Seng Lim Neou; the Ambassador of Singapore, Ms Tan Yee Woan; and General Meas Sophea, Head of the Armed Forces.  The students' floor show gave an interesting glimpse into the mixed culture of Singapore, as well recapping ten years of INitiate Cambodia in a PowerPoint slide show. Gifts were presented to several people for their work and support in Cambodia. Everyone enjoyed the evening and it was a nice finale to the visit.