Child Sponsorship Background from Battambang, Cambodia
SOS Children's Village Battambang
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is very high in Cambodia, and children are the ones who suffer most. In order to help these children, the Cambodian government approached SOS Children, asking for the construction of a third SOS Children's Village. A suitable site in Battambang was made available. Battambang, a provincial capital in the west of the country, belonged to Siam, modern Thailand, on and off until 1946. The townscape is characterised by 10th-century ruins and the Sangke river (navigable only at some times of the year) cutting through the town.
SOS Children's Village Battambang consists of family homes, a community house, the village director's house, a small medical unit, a building with rooms for co-workers and some ancillary buildings.
Other SOS Projects in Battambang
An SOS Nursery open to children from the neighbourhood as well. An SOS Social Centre is based at the SOS Nursery building. It focuses on supporting families from the neighbourhood who are affected by AIDS. These families are provided with medicine and food, and receive help so that they can send their children to school. The aim is to support children within their own environment and to prevent parents from abandoning their children because they see no other way out of their misery.
SOS Children was asked by the Cambodian government to build an SOS School in Battambang. The government provided a plot of land next to SOS Children's Village Battambang. The school was opened in 2009, and accommodates students both from the SOS Children's Village and its surroundings.
The school also has three science laboratories (for physics, biology and chemistry), a computer and language lab, a music room, an arts and crafts room, a library and a multi-purpose hall for sports and school functions. It offers all three levels of school education in Cambodia: primary (1st to 6th form), secondary (7th to 9th form) and higher secondary (10th to 12th form).
Like the other SOS Schools of Cambodia, this school adheres to the government school education system, but also offers additional subjects. Children from poor families who live in the rural areas of Battambang province greatly profit from the SOS School.
Background to Battambang
Battambang city is the capital city of Battambang province in northwestern Cambodia.
Battambang is the second-largest city in Cambodia with a population of over 250,000. Founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country. For over 500 years, it was the main commercial hub of Siam's Eastern Provinces, though it was always populated by a mix of ethnic Thai, Lao, Chinese and Cambodians. Still today Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh (where SOS Children also works) and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link to Cambodia.