Financial Partnership Led by School Support Committee (SSC) To Improve Safe School Facilities
The Safe School Framework (SSF) approach was selected for implementation at four primary schools in the fiscal years 2019 and 2021 in Bourei Cholsa Area Programme. The key partners of SSF are the District Committee for Disaster Management (DCDM), Commune Committee for Disaster Management (CCDM), school directors, school teachers, students, student councils and School Support Committees (SSC). 133 partners (female 66) received capacity development from the intervention of SSF programme in relation to Disaster Management (DM) concepts, the DM cycle, hazard and risk assessment and the components of the Safe School Framework. In addition, 2 of 4 schools have updated Disaster Preparedness Plan (DPP) and the other 2 DPPs are under the development by disaster management committees.
A significant outcome of the capacity building approach with key partners, especially SSC members, has been their ability to implement disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities as financial partners supported by World Vision. As a result, six community micro projects have been implemented by School Support Committees. The total budget of the six financial partnerships is 79,811,900 KHR (19,952.97 USD) of which 19,811,900 KHR (4,952.97 USD) was the contribution from SSCs. Collectively these micro projects have impacted and benefited 2,334 children (1,075 girls) including 827 RC (373 girls) and 1,884 MVCs (861girls).
45-year-old female, Solicheat, is a vice school director and a member of the SSC at Traey Klok primary school said her SSC has implemented two micro projects (1st round with budget 12,400,600 KHR (3,100 USD) with the contribution from committees 2,400,600 KHR (600 USD) and 2nd round with budget 10,610,000 KHR (2,652.50 USD) which 610,000 KHR (I52.50 USD) contributed by the committee). SSCs now have the capacity to lead the project implementation to respond to disaster risk reduction prioritized issues in the school. The culvert system was constructed to channel water into canals and renovated two classrooms in the worst and broken condition to become safe places for students. Additionally, the committee has cooperated with the local Health Center to clean the classrooms and promoted awareness of COVID-19 prevention including use of hygiene materials and distribution to students.
A 36-year-old teacher, Sareth, is also a member of the SSC in Angkrouch primary school also described how his SSC has addressed disaster risks in the community. The SSC members implemented a micro project with total budget of 15,011,000 KHR (3,752.75 USD) of which 5,011,000 KHR (1,252.75 USD) was contributed by the committee. The committee decided to construct a cement fence to reduce flooding during the raining season. Messages of DRR were posted on local boards to promote awareness among students, which was complemented by direct training on understanding, knowledge and protection to mitigate disaster risk.
A 9-year-old girl, Somphea, studying in grade 4 at Angkrouch primary school said; “I feel extremely happy to see the improvement of my school. The environment is much better than the previous years, moreover, I enjoy with the playgrounds set up with my friends. I feel more secure and safe from any dangers such as the falling down of the worst part of school building, accidents and dengue fever in raining season. Adding that, “I would like to thank World Vision, teachers and community who always have strong commitment to improve school to be safe for all the students”.
The recommendation of Financial Partnering Implementation for Disaster Risk Reduction:
- The limited capacity of SSCs to implement FP on relation to the form of financial partnership, especially the finance form part. AP teams should focus on the capacity building on the relevant topics to key partners.
- The priorities in DPP are mostly focusing on the improvement of infrastructure (hardware). AP teams are recommended to revisit DPP with key partners to ensure that the DPP will be included both soft and hardware facilities.
The committees would like to suggest that the timeline of FP can be 1 and/or 2 months is enough because DRR activities mostly was related to the construction for safe school facilities improvement. The FP guidance should be revisited and do the adjustment regarding to the context.