The number of children at Wat Opot change all the time. Children come and go for various reasons; some get re-integrated back into their biological families and others had a short stay after being dropped off here without really needing to. In 2013, we had a record number of children enter and exit our doors. Constant fluctuations in the number of children cause us to rearrange rooms and buildings to accommodate the ages of the kids.
We converted the little used clinic into a nursery when we had a number of very young kids (and through a meeting with another organization were anticipating more – although that never panned out).
We had hopes of starting a preschool with 4 and 5 years olds from the surrounding community so they can have a jump start on their education like our kids have. We were able to add a ceiling to help with the heat and purchase 6 large custom made glass cabinets on wheels, as well as tables, chairs and many educational toys.
BUT just when we were ready to start organizing the community preschool, little Srey Pech entered our lives and our plans had to change once again and we converted one of the educational areas into a nursery.
After Srey Pech went back to her adoptive parents, Isabel was able to finally start a preschool with 5 of the little ones.
First things first, Hygiene!
After that, we organized activities. It was not always easy when the kids ranged in age from 2 years old to 5 years old, because they weren’t always interested in doing the same things. But we usually managed to make everyone happy.
We colored pictures
and produced a beautiful piece of artwork by cutting and pasting colored paper and fabric that was prepared by the older girls the previous day.
Or we experimented with water
After Sokah and Udom left the Wat Opot Children’s Community to live with their parents as a family, we only had three children who attended the preschool. They are all between 4 and 5 years old and things were able to get more organized.
To make it an official preschool, they are now proud owners of a set of school cloths and a backpack!
The kids learn how to count in English and we talk about the different colors and they train their fine motor skills by tracing lines and they have already started to write letters.
Twice a week, Wat Opot’s teacher Sitha teaches the Khmer alphabet.
After English or Khmer class, it is time to utilize all the wonderful new educational supplies bought with the DACF grant.
Some days we take a ‘field trip’ to the Craft Room therefore allowing the little ones to have items for purchase in Winnie’s Boutique.
Every day at 10am, we play Memory, our favorite game.
Before we can go eat lunch, the room needs to be cleaned up.
After a hard day of working, we REALLY need to share a coconut.
Thanks to all who make this possible!