Once a vast empire, as seen through the magnificent ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia has been left devastated by the brutality of the Khmer Rouge regime during the 1970s. Up to two million people perished during Pol Pot’s four-year reign of terror through execution, starvation, forced labor and disease.
As one of the world’s most impoverished nations, more than half of the population is under twenty-one years old, living on a daily wage of less than US$2. Just over half of children make it to their last year in primary school, and only a quarter of Cambodian teenagers are given the opportunity to attend high school.
As a 21st century progressive international learning center, authentic connections to our local surroundings and communities are an essential part of who we are. Moreover, at LLC, community relations form a key part of the curriculum, as students engage in experiential activities both inside and outside the campus. At the same time, the center is an integral part of the neighborhood, both by social interaction and by inviting local community and international visitors on site. This view of LLC as a central focus for the community allows staff and students to come together around that most unifying of forces – the education of our children.
The curriculum draws from best practices internationally to ensure that the highest expectations are set and the highest standards reached for our students, both as individuals and as members of our global society.
Onsite there are classrooms, a science lab, sports court, music and art areas, and a range of sports facilities including a swimming pool, gardens and an organic farm.
A combination of Cambodian and international teaching staff from the highest educational backgrounds are employed. In most schools here, students are taught by rote, which many experts believe isn’t the most effective way of learning. Therefore, the Liger Charitable Foundation offers training to the Cambodian teachers, so they can learn techniques that are more beneficial and accessible for the students’ learning requirements.
The children live onsite in dormitories, designed in the traditional Khmer style, with Cambodian careers. The house parents are instrumental in providing a supportive and healthy environment enabling the children to flourish.
Sources: CIA, UNICEF