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Leaving the Landfill to Learn

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Since COVID began, the landfill where some of our older students live has seen an influx of new families with nowhere else to go. Desperate parents with no other source of income bring their families to the dumpsite to search for recyclables to sell. When LWB first got involved in helping kids at the landfill¬†in 2017, there were only 12 children living on the site. Due to COVID and the loss of day labor wages due to the continued closure of the Thai-Cambodian border, the number of families moving to the¬†landfill has increased fivefold. LWB is now working with over 60 children living at the dumpsite, and we’re committed to giving these wonderful kids the chance to learn and better their futures.

While LWB had schools in place for the older kids (and tuk-tuks to get them there safely), we did not have a program close enough to the landfill to support toddlers and preschool-aged children. We wanted to offer these little ones a safe place to play, nap, eat nutritious food, and get a head start on learning during the daytime. This past week, our newest school, the Rangsei Early Childhood Development Center, opened for business!

Understandably, there was a lot of crying when the children first arrived, but soon they settled and started to play with the toys.

The children soon began to see what fun they could have at school!

The sit-in cars were popular, even if some of the kids were unsure what to actually do once they got inside.

These children really enjoyed the milk we provided at snack time!

The hot lunch proved to be popular as well.

Soon enough, it was time for a nap. Their full bellies and morning full of fun made the children pretty sleepy.

We hope you enjoyed a peek into our first week of school at our Rangsei Early Childhood Development Center. What a joy to be able to give these children a respite from the harsh realities of life at the landfill — and a great headstart on learning!

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