O Mean Chey Primary School
Water Project

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“Many of the school children bring [contaminated] water from their homes.” - Mrs. Heang

School Water Project

O Mean Chey Primary School, Cambodia, Asia

GPS: 13.5209, 104.2398

students

  • Story
  • Updates 1
  • Plan
  • FAQ's


Life at O Mean Chey Primary: Sopheap’s Story

November 2019


Twelve-year-old Sopheap Soy walks for one hour through the dense Cambodian forest to get to school each day. He comes from a big family, with five siblings and parents who farm for a living. He picks wildflowers to sell to pay for school tuition, books, and school supplies.

Sopheap attends O Mean Chey Primary, a school without safe water or a place to use the bathroom.

“There is no water in the bathroom to flush, so we go out in the bush nearby,” he said. “And children get diarrhea and stomach aches from poor hygiene so they can’t come to school.”

In Cambodia, a popular toilet is a “pour flush toilet,” which requires abundant water to operate. Without water, children are forced to go outside, a dangerous sanitation issue. When it rains, the waste around the school spreads and runs into nearby rivers and ponds.

Sopheap dreams of becoming a police officer one day.

Two water storage tanks are meant to provide water to the students at O Mean Chey Primary. The water is piped from a spring in the mountains, but the piping breaks often, letting contaminants in and even preventing the water from getting to the school at all.

Even when it’s functioning well, it only provides enough water to flush the toilets, not for the children to drink.

“Many of the school children bring water from their home for drinking,” Lai Heang, Sopheap’s teacher, said.

The water that children bring from home isn’t safe either, so many of Sopheap’s friends are sick throughout the week.

“Children have poor hygiene and sanitation due to the lack of clean water,” Principal Srey Mo, said.

Sopheap and his friends have hope for their futures. They are working hard in school and helping their parents when they’re home, but the water problem is keeping them behind.

You can help Sopheap and others at O Mean Chey Primary School today. Your gift will provide health training, menstrual hygiene management curriculum, permanent and sanitary bathrooms on school grounds, plus a new, safe water source just steps from the classroom.

Lasting change means more than building a well. Compelled by the love of Christ, local Lifewater staff work alongside parents, teachers, and administrators to ensure the students of today and tomorrow have a path out of poverty.

Sponsor O Mean Chey Primary School today.

December 06, 2019: Project Ready

The O Mean Chey Primary School water project is now ready to receive funding.

Here’s the Plan for O Mean Chey Primary School:

Pro-Tip! If the timeline is blue, that means O Mean Chey Primary School has reached this milestone! If it's gray, they are working towards that step next.

school_project_ready

School Project Ready

Schools are carefully selected by Lifewater staff based on need, geographical location, and willingness to participate in water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs.

School Commitment Meeting

Parents and administrators agree to invest in the children’s futures by raising the 15-20 percent initial contribution for their new water source(s) and restrooms. This can be provided through labor, materials, or monetary funds.

buy_in_meeting
teacher_training

Teacher Training

Teachers with WASH knowledge make healthy students! Lifewater staff practice water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) lessons with teachers to be integrated in school curriculum.

MHM Training

With Menstrual Hygiene Management training, girls have the resources and social support they need to thrive in their classrooms without shame.

mhm_training
wash_club_formed

WASH Club Formed

A WASH Club of student leaders actively participate in teaching hygiene and sanitation to their peers through songs, dramas, and dances.

Latrine Construction Starts

Lifewater designs and constructs multi-stall school bathrooms with drainable pit toilets that are built to last. Each school also features permanent handwashing stations to improve school hygiene.

latrine_construction_start
all_latrines_completed

Latrines Completed

With safe, sanitary bathrooms, more children feel confident attending school!

Water Project Construction Starts

When a school has gathered the necessary contributions, construction begins on the new water source! Our engineers plan and build the appropriate source based on the geography of the region.

construction_start_school
construction_complete_school

Water Project Complete

Safe water transforms a school. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle!

Healthy School Achieved

The school becomes a certified “Healthy School” once the following are all in place: an active WASH Club, MHM training, a safe water source, and safe bathrooms for the entire school. It is a moment of great accomplishment!

healthy_school

FAQs

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 40 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 40 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving. 

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

What is included in the cost of a school water project?

When you sponsor a school water project, you are helping to bring change now and for generations to come. Your gift provides:

  • Custom-engineered and constructed safe water source on school grounds
  • Permanent restrooms for every child, teacher, and administrator
  • Rainwater storage tanks and hand washing stations for improved hygiene
  • School-wide hygiene and sanitation training
  • The formation of a WASH Club of student leaders to reinforce healthy practices
  • Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) training to reduce stigma and create a safer space for everyone to learn
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project with real-time updates to donors
  • Five-year water source maintenance and sustainability promise
What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water. 

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches. 

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor. 

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices. Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. We do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor but we do commit to sending real-time updates from the projects themselves and a follow-up story gathered by one of our local journalists once your water project is complete.

Story


Life at O Mean Chey Primary: Sopheap’s Story

November 2019


Twelve-year-old Sopheap Soy walks for one hour through the dense Cambodian forest to get to school each day. He comes from a big family, with five siblings and parents who farm for a living. He picks wildflowers to sell to pay for school tuition, books, and school supplies.

Sopheap attends O Mean Chey Primary, a school without safe water or a place to use the bathroom.

“There is no water in the bathroom to flush, so we go out in the bush nearby,” he said. “And children get diarrhea and stomach aches from poor hygiene so they can’t come to school.”

In Cambodia, a popular toilet is a “pour flush toilet,” which requires abundant water to operate. Without water, children are forced to go outside, a dangerous sanitation issue. When it rains, the waste around the school spreads and runs into nearby rivers and ponds.

Sopheap dreams of becoming a police officer one day.

Two water storage tanks are meant to provide water to the students at O Mean Chey Primary. The water is piped from a spring in the mountains, but the piping breaks often, letting contaminants in and even preventing the water from getting to the school at all.

Even when it’s functioning well, it only provides enough water to flush the toilets, not for the children to drink.

“Many of the school children bring water from their home for drinking,” Lai Heang, Sopheap’s teacher, said.

The water that children bring from home isn’t safe either, so many of Sopheap’s friends are sick throughout the week.

“Children have poor hygiene and sanitation due to the lack of clean water,” Principal Srey Mo, said.

Sopheap and his friends have hope for their futures. They are working hard in school and helping their parents when they’re home, but the water problem is keeping them behind.

You can help Sopheap and others at O Mean Chey Primary School today. Your gift will provide health training, menstrual hygiene management curriculum, permanent and sanitary bathrooms on school grounds, plus a new, safe water source just steps from the classroom.

Lasting change means more than building a well. Compelled by the love of Christ, local Lifewater staff work alongside parents, teachers, and administrators to ensure the students of today and tomorrow have a path out of poverty.

Sponsor O Mean Chey Primary School today.

Updates

December 06, 2019: Project Ready

The O Mean Chey Primary School water project is now ready to receive funding.

Plan

Here’s the Plan for O Mean Chey Primary School:

Pro-Tip! If the timeline is blue, that means O Mean Chey Primary School has reached this milestone! If it's gray, they are working towards that step next.

school_project_ready

School Project Ready

Schools are carefully selected by Lifewater staff based on need, geographical location, and willingness to participate in water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs.

School Commitment Meeting

Parents and administrators agree to invest in the children’s futures by raising the 15-20 percent initial contribution for their new water source(s) and restrooms. This can be provided through labor, materials, or monetary funds.

buy_in_meeting
teacher_training

Teacher Training

Teachers with WASH knowledge make healthy students! Lifewater staff practice water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) lessons with teachers to be integrated in school curriculum.

MHM Training

With Menstrual Hygiene Management training, girls have the resources and social support they need to thrive in their classrooms without shame.

mhm_training
wash_club_formed

WASH Club Formed

A WASH Club of student leaders actively participate in teaching hygiene and sanitation to their peers through songs, dramas, and dances.

Latrine Construction Starts

Lifewater designs and constructs multi-stall school bathrooms with drainable pit toilets that are built to last. Each school also features permanent handwashing stations to improve school hygiene.

latrine_construction_start
all_latrines_completed

Latrines Completed

With safe, sanitary bathrooms, more children feel confident attending school!

Water Project Construction Starts

When a school has gathered the necessary contributions, construction begins on the new water source! Our engineers plan and build the appropriate source based on the geography of the region.

construction_start_school
construction_complete_school

Water Project Complete

Safe water transforms a school. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle!

Healthy School Achieved

The school becomes a certified “Healthy School” once the following are all in place: an active WASH Club, MHM training, a safe water source, and safe bathrooms for the entire school. It is a moment of great accomplishment!

healthy_school

FAQ's

FAQs

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 40 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 40 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving. 

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

What is included in the cost of a school water project?

When you sponsor a school water project, you are helping to bring change now and for generations to come. Your gift provides:

  • Custom-engineered and constructed safe water source on school grounds
  • Permanent restrooms for every child, teacher, and administrator
  • Rainwater storage tanks and hand washing stations for improved hygiene
  • School-wide hygiene and sanitation training
  • The formation of a WASH Club of student leaders to reinforce healthy practices
  • Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) training to reduce stigma and create a safer space for everyone to learn
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project with real-time updates to donors
  • Five-year water source maintenance and sustainability promise
What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water. 

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches. 

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor. 

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices. Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. We do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor but we do commit to sending real-time updates from the projects themselves and a follow-up story gathered by one of our local journalists once your water project is complete.

Your donation is restricted for use within the program region for which the water project is located. Project cost estimates are established from program averages across all Lifewater programs and are based on the population size of the village. Community contributions are included in the program costs but not in the program funding goals. Real-time results are provided from the actual project sponsored. Occasionally Lifewater will receive more contributions for a given project than can be wisely applied to that project. When that happens, we use these funds to meet a similar pressing need in the same program region.

All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Contributions are solicited with the understanding that Lifewater has complete control over the use of all donated funds. Board-approved policy establishes that all gifts restricted for a specific project be applied to the restricted program, with up to ten percent used for administrative and fundraising purposes.