January, for us, was very fruitful. There were lots of happenings, including students returning to study, students who were reintegrated into our programs and a field trip to Barseth Mountain.
We also organized health checks for students from our Little Birds Project as well as 45 high schoolers. A couple of our students returned to school after a hiatus – one at Westline and the other at Pounhea Krek. This was both heartening and encouraging. We made plans to follow up with other students, organized weekly lunch support for our full-timers and also liaised with social workers to take care of students’ emotional needs and bolster self-esteem.
A few of our students were missing and we wanted to find out the reasons why. We had a couple of truancies, whereby two students, one boy and one girl missing an entire month of school. It turned out the boy thought we hadn’t paid his school fees, and the girl was bored with studying at a Methodist school and learning about religion. We addressed this by providing close mentorship with the boy and working with the social work team to understand the cause of the girl’s issue with school attendance.
We had another student who had disappeared as her grandmother had taken her to another area. We have decided to work on her case with a counselling team and have put a counselling schedule in place. One of our students graduated and we learned she is planning to marry a Korean man and wanted to learn Korean so she could move smoothly. We will continue to keep in contact with her, to ensure she is safe and happy in her new environment.
All in all, it was a full month for us. It’s all part of the puzzle of life, we’re glad we get to make a difference in our kids’ lives.