Stories of Change

Top: students show off their clean hands. Bottom: Mr. Boris shows us the well and explains why it is important for the school.

CWS programs in Cambodia reached more than 30,000 people last year.

Clean water revolutionizes the school day in Cambodia

Every day, 420 young students attend classes at Ang Primary School in Cambodia. Until recently, though, there wasn’t a water source at the school. Technically the school had a latrine, but the combination of more than 400 people and no water meant that it was impossible to keep it clean. When a student needed a bathroom break, he or she would head out to a field near the school for relief.

That field was filthy and dangerous. But it wasn’t on the school grounds, so it became a problem for another day.

That day, it turns out, was in 2017. After months of working with the school and its community to help raise awareness about water, sanitation and hygiene, CWS partner Rural Development Association helped the school build a well with a water pump.

Suddenly, there was clean water available for the students and their teachers.

School Director Thlang Boris recently told our team that things had completely changed with the clean water connection. Channy, a 12-year-old student, said, “Now that we have water in the school compound we can use the latrine all the time. It was difficult before without water, so I sometimes didn’t want to come to school at all. Now we can clean our hand properly after using the toilet. And we can also wash our faces after playing, so we are not sitting in the class sweaty, which we all really appreciate. Thank you so much for the support for the education about improving our hygiene … and especially for the well, which is very important to help us have good hygiene now that we better understand its importance to our health.”

Every day, CWS is working in more than 50 villages in northern and western Cambodia to share information about the importance of good hygiene on an individual, family and community level. We are especially proud to partner with families and schools to help people gain access to safe water so that they can put their new knowledge to good use.