Since the students went home to their families on 9 March 2020, the school’s five social workers have continued to follow them regularly and personally. They call them every week to check up on them and their family’s socio-economic and health situation. They also listen to them to help them access online courses, a first for these young people, and sometimes to motivate them.
Bounty Tan, the head of social workers for the Sala Baï team, says: “Some students have problems with the telephone network because the coverage and speed are not very good in remote areas. But fortunately, in the vast majority of cases, our students are managing to do their homework and follow the lessons given by the teachers, even if it is more difficult for some than for others.”
Social workers can be reached by young people at any time if they feel the need. According to Bounty Tan, all 150 students are doing well and keeping their spirits up despite the situation. But they are getting bored at home. Bounty Tan says, “Most of the students have told us that they want to be with their teachers, friends and go back to boarding school, especially those who live outside Siem Reap province. All of us, both students and the teaching and administrative staff, are looking forward to the school opening its doors again. “While waiting for the return to normal, the social workers’ team remains mobilised to increase support of the most disadvantaged, even from a distance.