Communication :

THE SUPERHEROES DAY

Dawn itself is still asleep. In a little wooden hut rises the noise of fabrics and rags. Outside, tired embers have been watching all night. A silhouette emerges from the shadows, the mind still clouded. It is 4:30 in the morning in the heart of the forest of Angkor Wat and Batman puts on his mask.
Batman is 2 and a half years old. Today, he leaves to watch over the “world of the grown-ups”. The world of his brother. He puts on his cape, adjusts his mask and climbs into Daddy’s tuktuk. He’s on the way to the city.

For Batman, the “city” is the pagoda. A Buddhist temple located just minutes away, where houses are made of brick. In recent years, his brother goes there every morning, although he is not a monk. If he goes there, it is to take classes in the small houses next to the pagoda – the ones that are red. It’s school. Our school. The one next to the Bayon temple. Ah! By the way, this morning it’s back to school.
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It is 6:45am and the school is already busy. Parents, children, babies and teenagers. We talk, we laugh and we move. Even the year-round dogs come to watch the ceremony. Only the monkeys are still sleeping. For Batman, it’s a lot of unknown to watch. Fortunately, from the cradle of his mother’s arms, the view is clearer. In the distance, he sees Superman. He knows him. In truth, Superman does not come from another planet. He comes from his grandmother’s house, who lives in the forest and cares for him since his parents left.

While the older ones are gathered in the yard of the new kitchen to listen to the speech of the directors, Batman wastes no time. He takes off his mask to show Superman and Spiderman – who is actually a girl – who is the strongest at the “flip flop”.

The battle of microphones and amplifiers rage between the school and the pagoda as the sky darkens. The retreat is ringing, the rainy season is still not over. In the shelter, the children are wise and discover the faces of their new teachers. Behind them, moms chatter and give breast. The universal “row of dads at the back of the room” is waiting patiently. The teenagers are finally directed to their new classes while the little heroes marvel at the chrome faucets that dispense water at will.

Superman and Spiderman do not move away from the arms of their moms. For Batman however, the moment of departure is late. Going back to school is the opportunity for the small but also for the big ones to meet again. We meet neighbors from surrounding villages, we take news of the distant families and introduce newborns … Everyone knows each other, regardless of their opportunities to attend the school year. The perfect time to fill up on gossip until the end of the year. Unfortunately for Batman, there are neither criminals to stop, nor princesses to save in the vicinity. Waiting, he leaves to pick up mushrooms growing at the edge of school.
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The sun is high in the sky when the knell rings. Batman, his pockets full of mushrooms, is watching his older brother one last time. He received a breakfast, a nice uniform, new notebooks and even a bike! If this is school, he understands better why his brother returns here every day. Reluctantly, the child leaves the playground to face the outside world, he puts his mask back on. Outside, the world has lost its innocence, even for a child of 2 years and a half. Although he is still too young to enroll, he sees that at school, “it’s not the same”. The institution seems to protect people from problems: no debts to refund, no drought to bear, no money to beg for. Children even have the right to express themselves.

Deep in his heart, he thought that it would be great to be able to wear the same uniform as his elder brother next year: the super-costume of childhood.

, 8 November 2018

BAYON’S GREEN TIPS

Why do we do this?

Even though there are many eco-friendly initiatives in Siem Reap, it’s still difficult to recycle waste.
With the aim of a responsible approach, we strive to minimize our waste by finding alternatives. We also try to sort and recycle all the waste we can.

Are you an organization / company based in Siem Reap and you also want to act for the environment?
HERE ARE OUR RECOMMENDATIONS!

1) Our « GREEN ACTIONS »
2) Waste sort out and recycle

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, 21 September 2018

The new school year at Bayon Pastry School

My name is Camille. I study in a business school and just joined the Bayon team, as part of my career project of working in international solidarity. After an eight-months experience in the charity sector in France, and a six-months experience starting up a business, I wanted to explore the charity sector on the ground. I wanted to get involved in a solidarity project in the education and development sector and then joined Bayon School.
Despite arriving in a rainy Cambodia – it was wet season – I was given a warm welcome by the whole Bayon team and the last few students from the previous year who were still living in the school.
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Throughout the days, I am taking my marks. I really enjoy my mission, as I will be working across the pastry and the primary school. I also try to learn a few words in Khmer and discover the Cambodian cuisine, which is fantastic. The school is providing me with an accommodation on the pastry school’s top floor.
On my first Sunday there, twenty-two young women join the school. They arrive little by little, either on their own or with their family, by tuk-tuk or on a scooter, all with a big smile on their faces.
My first contact with them is a bit tricky, because of the language barrier but also because I feel like I intimidate them. They stoop when walking by me! I’m looking forward to them speaking English so that we can chat. For now, even though we can’t really speak, we smile at each other, which creates a start of a relationship. They settle in their room, shared between 6 students, and they already seem to be making friends and having fun.
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On the first morning with my new neighbours, I find out they are early birds! At 6 am, they are already up. I can tell they are excited, almost impatient.
9:30 is the big time: all team members and students introduce themselves. As Rodrigo and Anaïs introduce themselves, the students seem impressed and have no idea they also are on their first day as mission coordinators. They then meet Srey Leak, coffee shop manager and graduate from the school’s first intake. The training suddenly becomes very real to them. Here we are: new year, new intake, and it feels emotional.
On the next day, I want to have dinner with the students. Unfortunately, they’ve already had dinner and only two of them are still seated at the kitchen table. Luckily, they know a few English words and we try to chat. We talk about our meal and I ask them how they find their first classes. They seem really happy when they tell me they liked them.
I’m looking forward to the next four months – seeing the students evolve and become great pastry cooks. They won’t need to beg me to be their pastries and cakes guinea pigs! On both the personal and professional level, I am excited about learning new things with the fabulous Bayon team, who are full of energy and kindness.
, 17 September 2018

New faces at Bayon school

Transforming the teaching practices at Bayon School requires growing our team. Get to know the new members who have joined us in our mission in Siem Reap.
Anaïs and Rodrigo joined our team in March 2018 to analyse the way the school works. By pursuing their mission from September 2018 to February 2019 as mission coordinators, they will be able to implement their recommendations.
This review of our teaching practices will help us take further our mission of providing quality education to disadvantaged children living in the temples area.
The appointment of a full-time headmaster is essential to the implementation of Bayon School’s new educational programme. Phorn has been given this role – he will facilitate the implementation of this new framework and manage the school. As a young high school teacher, he also has done research on innovative teaching practices. Member of the organisation “40K Plus Education”, whose mission is to improve access to quality education in Cambodia and India, his approach to the practices and activities implemented in primary school will allow him to make adjustments and recommendations to our teams. More particularly, he will be in charge of setting the KPIs that will evaluate the school’s transformation.
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The primary school’s team of teachers is going through some changes as well. This year, we welcomed Sokheng, digital teacher and Sophany, in charge of the library and support classes.
Sokheng will be teaching the basics of computer science to Grade 5 students, some of which have never seen a computer. We are also planning to introduce our students to the basics of coding in order to develop their sense of logics and strategy.
Library classes will also be a whole part of our students’ schedule: all grades will attend the library two hours a week, with reading and games. Sophany will be in charge of making this place lively, and will also provide students with difficulties with individual tutoring classes, using specific learning methods.
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Another Cambodian teacher has been recruited to teach complementary courses at the pastry school. As a young 25-year-old teacher, Chomrong is a 25-year-old teacher and took over Marie’s position at the beginning of this school year. After teaching English at the JACC Centre (for underprivileged children), he now teaches English, Business, Computer Sciences and Personal Development since the beginning of September for students.
Finally, our new volunteer Camille is going to work across both schools – the primary and the pastry school – over the next four months. She will be in charge of the arts classes at the primary school and is already working on the coffee shop development.
We all are very enthusiastic about our new team members!