Missions

School extension gives hope to more youths

Mar 2010    

Opening of Methodist School of Cambodia’s extension block

PHNOM PENH – It was a glorious day in December as the sun reflected off the sparkling windows of the recently completed addition to the Methodist School of Cambodia (MSC) here.

Saluting, smiling cadets from the MSC Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade flanked both sides of the school entrance as they welcomed guests to the opening of the new school extension.

Khmer students sang “Give Thanks” in their language and were rewarded with a warm applause.

Singapore’s Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms Tan Yee Woan, was the Guest-of-Honour. Guests from several Methodist churches in Singapore joined the students and staff to witness this special occasion.

While observing the ceremony, it occurred to me that the school renovation project could be likened to the birth experience. e extension block, from its conception in March to its completion in November, took a full nine months. Project design and construction were provided by a local Khmer contractor, with input from a small group of volunteer building professionals in Singapore to ensure adherence to safety standards. The speed and quality of the work were applauded by the Ambassador as she addressed the gathering.

The two-storey extension was built above the existing sanctuary and houses eight additional classrooms, one laboratory, a meeting room, and a multi-purpose court on the rooftop. The foundation pilings were designed and constructed to support five storeys. us, additional space can be added to accommodate future growth.

There are currently 700 students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 10. Next year grade 11 will be launched, and the following year grade 12 will be implemented. We look forward eagerly to the graduation of the first batch of students in 2012. More than 25 per cent of the MSC students come from poor families or orphanages. These students would never be able to attend school without the kind generosity of sponsors in Singapore.

Today, the MSC continues the legacy begun by early Methodist missionaries in Singapore by offering excellent academic education and instruction in Christian values. Since Cambodia has quite a large youth population, long-term strategic investments in the areas of education and community development are needed to help them achieve their potential.

The MSC seeks to shape the future of Cambodia to become a country of “thinking, caring and giving people”. Please help make this dream a reality by sending a donation to the MSC Building Fund, c/o The Methodist Missions Society, 70 Barker Road, Singapore 309936.

Judy Foo is a member of Bedok Methodist Church.

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