Srey Lak Program for Girls – Update April 2023

DCI’s update on our girls in the Srey Lak Program for Girls (SPG).

Thank you to all the donors for generously supporting Dharma Care’s Srey Lak Program for Girls that supports thirteen girls who have grown up on the rubbish tips and streets of Cambodia.  Our donors provide accommodation, food, health support and a first class education to this most vulnerable group of girls and young women.

As always, we are grateful to John Thompson (PIO’s project manager) and Malyda Mean (PIO’s Deputy CEO) for providing us with information to enable this update.

My husband, Livingston Armytage and I were able to visit PIO in November 2022. It was lovely to be once again surrounded by all the enthusiastic students there, and especially by the girls in DCI’s SPG project. You can read about our last visit on DCI’s website.

Since our last update in August 2022, I have stepped down from DCI’s Board, but will continue to work with DCI on matters related to PIO and SPG. 

After several closures during the worst of the pandemic, PIO returned to normal operations last year.  However, the ongoing impact of Covid can be seen in the reduction of student enrolment: pre-Covid over 1400, now 920.  In the Shelter (PIO’s boarding school), there are now 27 students compared to 65 before the pandemic.

PIO is once again receiving visitors from within Cambodia and from overseas.  Also, volunteers from overseas are returning.  John reports that there are currently 2 volunteers at PIO and 4 more are expected later in the year.

We were delighted to learn from John and Malyda that due to the great success rate of Grade 12 students in the national examination, more PIO students are proceeding to university and studying a wider range of subjects than in the past.  There are now 25 PIO graduates at university compared to just a handful a few years ago.

When Irwan Wyllie and I visited PIO in 2019, we were told that PIO was planning to build an additional wing to their Stungmean Chey campus.  Construction of this new building has started, albeit delayed due to lack of funding.

Hear from some of the students with their personal messages of appreciation for the support of their sponsors in the videos below.