Improving English language skills in a rural village
With overwhelming, enthusiastic guest support, the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund has financed a project launched by Lindblad’s expedition leader Tom O’Brien to help local residents in the village of Kampong Tralach build a community library. In this tiny village in rural Cambodia, English is not taught in the public schools, so the library employs local teachers to provide English language instruction to children and adults free of charge.
By learning English, residents can engage directly with travelers and help draw more tourists to the region, creating economic opportunities for the village. English language proficiency also allows local leaders to engage in decision-making processes about the future of their community, and increase awareness of the ecology of the Mekong River and all of the opportunities it holds. In addition to building the library, guest donations have provided electricity for the library, English-language and ecology books for 300 students, and technology resources.
Lindblad Expeditions also supports the Kampong Tralach Green School, a registered NGO extracurricular language school initiated by teachers from Kampong Tralach. Current goals of the project include establishing an interactive website where students can tell their stories and share their growth, and developing facilities for a home-stay program to attract international teaching volunteers to the community for extended periods of time.
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