KOUK REANG’, CHONGAL DISTRICT, ODDOR MEAN CHEY PROVINCE,
VILLAGE LIBRARY 2013-2014
The Villagers of Kouk Reang’, Chongkal District, approached Saron Soeun, our water pump wells Manager and asked if it were possible to have a Village Library. There are 105 families in Kouk Reang’. However, this Library will be used by 4 other villages: Kouk Thnong; Ta Nouk ; Kouk Trang; Chiga Sreng. They did not want it attached to the local school as they felt a “Village Library” would welcome use by adults too. The Kouk Reang’ Villagers agreed to be responsible for the labor. The Team of 4-5 workers were responsible for the construction. From April – June each worker was paid $4/day =1,600 Riels Cambodian currency. Since then the rate of pay is $5/day as these jobs required more skills. Because Soeun Pheay is the carpenter, mason, bricklayer and our Chongkal District Coordinator- His pay is $7.5/day. The Villagers, under the direction of Soeun Pheay have worked on every aspect of the Library which meant learning new construction trades while continuing as subsistence farmers.
LIBRARY TIME LINE
Land Donated by: Soeun Pheay
April 2013 The Villagers of Kouk Reang have begun work on the Library for their Village. Short pillars were constructed for the initial Library platform. The platform will be higher than the road level. A truck will then transport soil to fill to nearly one meter to protect against flood.
June 2013 Carpenters and masons have filled in the soil up to the ground floor- 1 meter. The cement pillars have been poured- up to 4 meters. The next step will be to connect one pillar to another by cement beams.
The Rainy season started after Royal Ploughing Day May 28th. The village workers have had to leave the Library construction at various times to plough their paddies for rice and cassava cultivation.
September 2013 1. Foundation for toilet and pillar foundation to support the cistern water tank has been installed; 2. Beam/Pillar work completed.
- (at left)
Completion of the outside cement roof.It is Saron’s vison to add a second floor to the Library so that English classes can be taught. He then hopes to employ an English teacher
November 2013. 5 big windows and 2 small windows have been purchased for installation
The Ann and Quinn Bell Foundation gift of $5000 has made the construction of the Library to this point possible
A gift from Marilyn and Guy Berner made completion of the interior of the Library possible.
The mason covers cement on pillars, beams, and inner wall. (left)
Door and window frames are installed
Covering the rough ceiling with wet cement
Library ground floor before covering with cement (note the bamboo ties.)
March 2014. On right is the back door of the Library (above). The Library floor is being cemented. View of two door frames. Door frame on left is entrance to the restrooms.
Cement Water Pump Well for the Library.
Completion of the exterior of the bathroom facilities.
Bathrooms will be accessed from inside the Library.
The Library exterior is painted with decorative trim. Landscaping will consist of young banana and arecas trees and other types of shade as it is very hot in the daytime for the children to read books.
Ready for furniture
Delivery of bookcase, 2 long tables, 2 long benches, and shelves crafted by a carpenter in nearby village.
The Villagers are very proud of this Library and they can’t wait for their children to read and learn in this Library.
Saron and a van driver transported over 300 books to the village library in Kouk Reang' village. These books are: mostly children books such as fairy tales books for educating children (both Khmer and English text); agriculture books for farmers to read how to grow/plant vegetables and raise animals; and health magazines (in Khmer text). Saron used donations from our friends in Summit County which made it possible to purchase books.
PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN WILL USE THE LIBRARY Saron spoke with the school master and he will bring pupils/students to read books at the Library
A Librarian has been hired who is literate in Khmer and English. He will begin to organize the Library. His salary is $70/month.. Saron trained the new librarian for 2 hours on how to: register books by title, code, and how to lend books to farmers and children when they borrow books from library and the way to return the books. He also trained the librarian to make a Daily report, weekly report and monthly report of the activities in the library.
THE LIBRARY OPENED OFFICIALLY ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 1ST 2014. IT WILL BE OPEN FROM MONDAY-FRIDAY. HOURS WILL BE 7:30 AM-12 NOON; 1:00 PM-4:30 PM
The Dedication of the Library was held the week of January 17th 2015. Family members from the major donors: Ann and Quinn Bell Foundation and Marilyn and Guy Berner as well as supporters from Colorado and Maine traveled to Kouk Reang’ for the dedication. The children from nearby schools received school supplies and uniforms thanks to Bob and Cheryl Thompson. Early elementary English books, collected in Ft. Collins, CO., by Scout and Stella Bohlender were given out. Fred Garver “Garbo” from Maine, provided a hilarious program (that needed no words) as the Inflatable Man. Saron did all the translation to send the message about what the gift of this Library meant to the supporters in the USA and the villagers in Kouk Reang’
Gratitude is extended to Saron Soeun who designed the Village Library. He hired Soeun Pheany from Kouk Reang’ as the Project Coordinator. Saron arranged for the purchase and delivery of all the construction materials, furniture and books and made frequent visits to check on progress. Gratitude is also given to the many USA donors who made this project possible. There were 17 individual gifts as well as general donations from our 2013-2014 Fundraisers. To date the construction costs have totaled $7508; Donations have totaled $8498. The +$990 was used for books ($500.) and Library supplies: water tank to supply water to the toilets.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE THIS LIBRARY A REALITY