New Phnom Penh Learning Centre
Filed Under: Blog, Cambodia, Girls, Inspirational, Press Releases, Restoration, Stories, Uncategorized
It’s been a long time coming but last week we officially opened our wonderful new building in the heart of the busy city! I’ll get into the details of our new building shortly, but I want to paint a picture of what we’ve been using these past years, as it will help you understand why we’re so pleased with the new one!
The Destiny Rescue Phnom Penh Project used to be located a 25 minute motorbike ride from the main part of the city on extremely poor roads that would make your teeth shatter from the bumpiness! And if it the giant potholes didn’t make you nervous, the roaring trucks with no brakes certainly did!
We had three large houses with a total capacity of 120 people, but despite being large properties, they simply weren’t able to cater for our Learning Centre needs. During one particularly busy term at the Learning Centre, each day one of teachers had to take a class outside, prop a whiteboard up on the handlebars of a bicycle and aim to be heard over the din of the humming water pump! Less than ideal.
We seemed to make do, and the generosity of many donors helped ease the pressure in some ways. We had a wonderful high school donate computers to make a computer class, but the classroom had major flooding problems so we had to keep half the computers covered and unused.
Two of those properties have been sold, but we’ve kept one as it’s an ideal healing and resting place away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The new building is large and the landlord is extremely supportive. He has allowed us to paint murals on both concrete fence walls and also interior walls, and will allow us to alter rooms to cater for things like the new computer room. Plus there are two buildings on the land where we are able to situate more residences!
Our program runs much the same as it did at our old property, but we are developing it further as this new environment is much more conducive for learning, as we can better facilitate things like small groups and rotating classes. It’s closer to many places where our girls go for training or studying with partner organizations, which makes traveling a lot simpler and safer.
This new location also allows us to consider girls who have a safe and loving family to attend our centre during the day but go home at nights, which increases our capacity to help more girls. We can now house over 100 children in our residences and also facilitate another 100 or more as part of our centre. This ensures that all girls are able to receive counseling, social work, family assistance, education and access to training and study options.
The design of the new property means we have the option of extending the building as we continue to grow – making this location sustainable long term! The flexibility of this new place is something novel to our project and exciting for the future and vision of Destiny Rescue.
I feel the specialness of this place is actually in the decor. The murals are beautiful and many of the interior decorations were designed by our girls in their Art Expression class. There is a giant painted tree on an interior wall that has photos of every girl that has been in our care, and every staff member too. This shows that once a girl is with us, she will always be part of our Destiny Rescue family tree and always be loved by us.
There has been so much love – as well as blood, sweat and tears – poured into the intense work that was needed to set the place up. Yet as soon as the girls walked in there was immediate love, worth, value and joy that was conveyed to the girls without a word needed to be said.
A building is a building, but now the building is a safe and beautiful place that facilitates healing and rest.
We want to thank all the supporters for enabling this to happen. It is beyond exciting and we thank you for being part of this with us.
Phnom Penh After Care and Reintegration Manager
Below are images from the grand opening!
*All photos were taken by Lens Penh