SeeBeyondBorders: 2020 Review

Our 2020, like so much of the world, has been severely impacted by COVID-19. In Cambodia, it is hard to remember life pre-pandemic. So much has changed.

Fortunately, Cambodia has had very limited numbers of COVID-19 cases with very tight entry restrictions and the borders almost completely closed. But the tourism industry, so important for Cambodia’s economy, remains all but shut and the financial consequences of the economic shutdown have been dire bringing many Cambodian’s close to or below poverty line. Through school closures, reopening’s and now a new temporary closure until January 2021, SeeBeyondBorders have continued to do our work to create systemic change in education for Cambodia.

SeeBeyondBorders is the only organisation in Cambodia that trains existing teachers to become mentors, so that they can guide fellow teachers to improve their performance. We could not do our work without you, and thank you for your support throughout this most challenging year.

Here is our 2020 in numbers:

  • 1 Cambodia’s First Ever Teachers Inspire Event organised by SeeBeyondBorders in Siem Reap. Organised and held in January 2020, pre-pandemic.
  • 3 Leaders from the Cambodian Ministry accompanied SeeBeyondBorders on a study and collaboration visit to Ireland. They observed lessons, met with Irish teacher educators and a Government Minister.
  • 6 months of school closures. SeeBeyondBorders support teachers and communities with educational videos and a recovery learning programme.
  • 98% drop in international tourism in Siem Reap, and tourism visas suspended throughout the country.
  • 68 people supported by our emergency Hardship Fund created to provide monetary support to our Cambodian staff and their families and funded by our supporters. This is a ring-fenced fund and is overseen by the Cambodian Hardship Fund Committee.
  • 24% of the 513,303 primary school-aged children in Cambodia had access to learning on television, whilst only 7 percent of children had engaged with teachers on homework. These numbers are alarmingly low. SeeBeyondBorders work is more important than ever to minimise school drop outs.
  • 25 educational videos are filmed in our offices. Planning takes place for Recovery Learning.
  • 3 representatives from the Australian Government visited our programs in Battambang. The Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang spent the morning in a school in the Ek Phnom District, along with his colleagues First Secretary and Consul Ryan Tierney and Program Manager Sokunthea Nguon.
  • $78,200 USD raised to support SeeBeyondBorders so far in our end of year crowd-funding campaigns; Bondi to Bronte in Australia and The Big Give in the UK.
  • 4 podcast appearances to share our vision with wider audiences. Listen to the latest podcast, Socially Democratic with Ed Shuttleworth here.
  • 72% pass rate for children in SeeBeyondBorders maths programme (2019),  37% was the baseline pass rate
  • 10,056 children in our programmes this 2019/2020, benefiting from improved learning in literacy and numeracy.

If you would like to read a more detailed review of our activity in 2020, please take a look at our annual report here.

Working at a grassroots level in Cambodia for the last 11 years, we know supporting teachers in the workplace brings real change for the children they teach. In 2021, SeeBeyondBorders will continue our work with our Recovery Learning programme, our Literacy and Maths programmes, and our new projects: the Educational Changemaker Graduate Programme and the Educational Technology project. More on the last two next year!

With your help, learning outcomes for children can be transformed. Change begins with education. Thank you for your support in 2020.

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