Water for school children in Cambodia

13 September 2016

Children in Cambodia on their way to school.

Children all over the world are going back to school. But while children in the UK are packing their lunches and filling up their water bottles at school, some children do not have clean water to drink.

This is a daily reality for children in Cambodia, where one in every four people don’t have access to clean water.

For children like twelve-year-old Say Sokha in the south west, not having enough clean water for school means she is unable to concentrate in class.

She said: “When there was no clean water, some of us would go to the pagoda outside school to collect water to drink. But the water was dirty and sometimes we became sick.”

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Thanks to money raised by Catholic schools in England and Wales, CAFOD is working with a local children’s charity who have opened a water purification centre. Clean, safe water is sold to local businesses and they offer discounted rates to vulnerable families.

They also provide Say Sokha’s school with free water and re-usable water bottles.

“We feel happier than before because we do not need to take unsafe water from the pagoda. We can fill our own water bottles with the clean water,” explains Say Sokha.

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She and her friends have hopes of becoming teachers, engineers and doctors when they grow up. The water purification centre will ensure more children stay at school to get an education and give them a chance of fulfilling their potential.

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