Pagna Cambodian Education Fund

My Second Visit to Pagna English School, Lovea Village By Peter

This was my second visit to the school. The first was over a weekend meeting with Mr Pagna that was quiet and business-like. This was different; the classroom was packed with students, children were loitering around waiting for their classes to start and the voice of the children reciting English statements rang aloud in unison. The enthusiasm was overwhelming.

There are two beginners’ classes in the morning. The first is simply called ‘ABC’. It focuses on word recognition and pronunciation. In this class, the teacher drew pictures on the whiteboard for children to take turns to identify them and to write the first alphabet of the word. The second class is called ‘SPELL’, which as the name suggests, focuses on learning to spell words correctly. Here, we enjoyed watching competitions between pairs of students dashing up to the whiteboard to point at words read out by the teacher. What came next was a pleasant surprise; those statements were sang into melodies. I cannot but appreciate the variety in the manner the lessons were delivered despite of the absence of teaching materials.

In between the classes, we talked with the teachers and the top two needs raised were

1. Student textbooks and workbooks

2. Improving the level of English competency among the teachers

Since there are no street lights in the village, I was expecting the six night classes to have fewer students. But I was wrong! In fact, the night classes were more packed.

As I observed one of the classes, I smiled to myself because I noticed two teachers who taught in the afternoon’s pre-school level seated among the students. The teachers want to improve their own level of English competency so that they can be better teachers! A song came to my mind, ‘And the Gift goes….. on and on and on’.

The 2 ladies in red (middle of picture) were teaching the afternoon classes.

After this visit, I feel very heartened by the dedication and passion of the teachers to teach and learn English. It is our prayer that their good work will continue so that they can benefit Lovea Village.

My Second Visit to Pagna English School, Lovea Village By Peter Read More »

Our plans and preparations in the Kingdom of Wonder

In a jaunty mood we left for the Kingdom of Wonder

With a good dose of fun and humour.

Up and down the bumpy and dusty red road

We traversed with our happy loads.

With plans on our minds

And donations-in-kind

Tucked away safely at the back of Mr Vichea’s van,

We were cheered by the sight of whirring fans

And new fluorescent lights

To brighten the nights

At Lovea Primary School.

With classrooms now cooled,

The workers toiled in the breeze,

Tiling a classroom with thankful ease.

All tooled up and in a jovial mood,

Clyde and Nina made the once-broken school benches good.

Meanwhile at Thansure School,

Teacher Sina and Principal Yoo

Were happy with their renovations too.

We made our way to PCEF, an English school

Where songs of ABCs are heard

And seeds of dreams are planted.

Mr Pagna shared his concerns with us.

An understanding of his school operations is a must

For Love-A-Village to decide on our future plans.

Mr Sophanny, a soccer fan,

Rendered us a great deal of help.

His sincerity was deeply felt

And to boot his work was speedy.

At Cambodia Catering Company,

Janice and San San held negotiations

To procure our events’ refreshments.

On day 5, we welcomed Aslyn, Pearl, Pierre, Jing Rong and Parry.

And on day 6, along came Leon, Lynn and Sally.

Dear God, we thank you for your blessings!

Our plans and preparations in the Kingdom of Wonder Read More »

My First Encounters in Siem Reap (by Yee Jong)

It was literally a dusty, bumpy and narrow dirt track shared by people, vehicles and cows leading to the destinations where our hearts were. But we never failed to enjoy the wisp of freshness from the infectious smiles of our hosts and the children when we reached there.

The work started in Siem Reap is not without a hitch, but there are always hopes and possibilities, and tangible progress no matter how slow and jerky it is; and of course wisdom and guidance from our Lord.

PCEF headed by the principal Mr Pagna is facing a funding crisis because their main sponsor has withdrawn support. Mr Pagna, though not in the best of health, continues to struggle with administrative and manpower problems.

The visit to Lovea Primary School firmed up the practical help of co-sponsoring the provision of electricity to the school and provided valuable time to explore and prioritise projects that will improve facilities.

We certainly would like to see the effort Ms Yoo, principal of Paradise Mission School, and her team put in to nurture the children and spread the Gospel continue and bear fruits. Paradise Mission School has a well-run programme based on the local curriculum with infusion of Christian teaching.

On this trip we also met up with personnel of 2 social enterprises over meals and learnt about the work they do in Siem Reap, and gathered first-hand knowledge of the life and culture of the Cambodians. Singaporeans Govin and his wife Betty operate Bread of Life (BOL) BnB & Café, which doubles as a training place for Cambodian youths who wish to join the hospitality industry. Govin and Betty believe in Christian discipleship and model the training in that vein. They have had a fulfilling ministry in Siem Reap for about 8 years. Desmond, another Singaporean also manages a hospitality training school with an on-site café, Spoons, under the umbrella of EGBOK. EGBOK is an NGO which reaches out to disadvantaged youths with various programmes. The business from Spoons generates revenue for EGBOK to sustain its mission.

While we need passion in the work we want to do in Siem Reap, we also need patience and understanding. Life is tough for an average Cambodian. Help is always welcome, but we have to be sensitive and respect their space. But still, we want to be able to share the Gospel with them. It is a continuous learning journey in cross-cultural missions. May we find favour with the Lord in the work we do there. I saw this line on a banner in Ms Yoo’s school, “Everything is possible in the Lord (equivalent Mark 10:27).” Truly we rely on the Lord for the work.


My First Encounters in Siem Reap (by Yee Jong) Read More »

Paradise Mission School and Pagna Cambodian Education Fund

During our trip from 31 Mar to 2 April, we met up with the principals of 2 schools.

Here’s a heads-up on what we found out from them!

Paradise Mission School

The school compound

School operations

Over dinner with Ms Eu, the Korean principal of Paradise Mission School, and her Cambodian colleague, Ms Sina, we found out that Grade 1 to 6 classes are conducted by 12 teachers at the school for 190 students. Ms Eu conducts training for kindergarten teachers, as well as weekly worship and bible storytelling sessions for children. She introduced to us the Song of Hope Language Centre which shares the Gospel through English and music lessons and is headed by another Korean missionary.

Sharing about Noah’s Ark

Financial challenges

A monthly budget of USD 3000 is required to run the mission school, out of which 60% is contributed by Ms Eu’s church in Korea. She tries very hard to the raise the remaining 40% from supportive friends and family members. Despite her financial constraints, Ms Eu intends to open up Grade 7 to 9 classes to students. Before she can do so, a security deposit of USD 20,000 needs to be raised and paid to the government.

Students having a lesson

Working together to share the Gospel

Having been called by the Lord to open a mission school in Siem Reap, Ms Eu has dedicated her life to serve Lord Jesus Christ. Love-A-Village is exploring opportunities to collaborate with Ms Eu to share the Gospel.

Pagna Cambodian Education Fund

Before we left, we visited Pagna Cambodian Education Fund, a school which is fully sponsored by Wide Open Wings to conduct free English classes for the children and adults of Lovea Village. Although the principal, Mr Pagna, had been hospitalised for the past 2 weeks for cardiac treatment, he made a special trip back to the school to meet us. Mr Pagna shared that Wide Open Wings has terminated sponsorship for his school due to a dispute over rules of operation. As such, he is appealing for funding assistance. We prayed for his recovery and success in securing donors for his school.

The school compound of PCEF

Paradise Mission School and Pagna Cambodian Education Fund Read More »

Scroll to Top