Celebrating a Decade of Impact: Classroom of Hope and Navitas Education Trust

Students at Svay Sor Primary School in the Sangker District of Cambodia, holding signs thanking Navitas for the funding that helped transform their school into a Child-Friendly School.

Last year, we celebrated an incredible milestone with one of our most cherished partners: Navitas Education Trust. It has now been over 10 years since Navitas first joined hands with Classroom of Hope, marking them as the longest-standing donor in CoH’s history! In fact, they’ve been with us nearly from the beginning, first joining us in 2013, just a year after Classroom of Hope’s founding in 2012

Even more staggering: In those 10 years, Navitas has been a cornerstone of our success, contributing over $1 million towards Classroom of Hope programs and positively impacting the lives of thousands of students in dozens of communities. 

While we’re a little late in properly commemorating this milestone, the recent visit of two Navitas teachers to a newly built, Navitas-funded, Block School in Lombok seemed like the perfect opportunity to reflect on our incredible journey together and celebrate the amazing impact they’ve helped us achieve!

 

A History of Collaboration

Child-Friendly Schools in Cambodia

Our journey with Navitas began in 2013 with a shared vision of transforming education in Cambodia alongside our partners at Children’s Action for Development (CAD). Their initial support for our Child-Friendly Schools program was instrumental in the transformation of 12 schools in Battambang, aligning them with UNICEF’s Child-Friendly School model. This model emphasises creating educational environments that are safe, healthy, and protective, equipped with trained teachers, adequate resources, and suitable physical, emotional, and social conditions for learning, promoting inclusiveness, gender sensitivity, tolerance, dignity, and personal empowerment.

Two young Cambodian women wearing brightly colored headscarfs talking in front of a brightly colored school playground.
Two young female students on bicycles outside the newly built playground at Samdach Primary School in Cambodia, one of the Child-Friendly Schools supported by Navitas.

Navitas’ funding enabled Classroom of Hope and CAD to achieve these goals in two ways:

First, to provide essential infrastructure improvements like playgrounds, toilets, sanitary facilities, water facilities, gardens, and classroom enhancements.

Second, we also worked together to address obstacles within homes or communities that might make it difficult for a student to succeed in their studies. These included anything from providing bicycles for students who live far from school and scholarships for students and families in need, to school food programs, teacher training, and more.

Over 5 years, with Navitas’ help, we were able to provide improved learning facilities for 4,024 students, including 15 toilets, 10 playgrounds, and 12 water facilities!

Check out this video made for Navitas in December 2015, showcasing some of the improvements made in the first seven Child-Friendly Schools they supported in rural Battambang!

 

Although Classroom of Hope’s Child-Friendly Schools program ended in March 2019 (after completing 12 school improvements in Battambang and 15 schools in Kampong Cham, Cambodia), it was a foundational part of our organisation’s early efforts and marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with Navitas aimed at creating safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments!

STEM4Women Scholarships

Navitas’ commitment didn’t stop there. Over the next few years, Navitas funding helped Classroom of Hope to provide scholarships to young women in Cambodia through our STEM4Women program.

In Cambodia, there is a huge disparity between men and women studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. Women make up only 14% of STEM students in tertiary education, compared to 86% of men – giving Cambodia one of the highest gender discrepancies in Southeast Asia.

Classroom of Hope’s STEM4Women program aimed to address this disparity by empowering and encouraging girls and women to study and succeed in STEM disciplines in Cambodia and Thailand!

Working with our local NGO partners at Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE), we provided scholarships and discounts for 2-year tertiary vocational degrees. This support covered tuition and accommodation costs and included additional support such as career development, leadership, communication, English-language skills, and employment assistance.

Our STEM4Women program was able to support 11 bright young women, enabling them to pursue their higher education and secure meaningful employment, transforming their lives and communities!

CoH Founders smiling with 5 female scholarship students in Cambodia
Classroom of Hope Co-Founders Nicola Courtin and Duncan Ward with some of the STEM4Women scholarship students in Cambodia in 2018.
Expansion and Continued Support into Building Schools

As Classroom of Hope expanded our mission and began working with our partners at CAD to build new schools in communities that either didn’t have a school or needed to replace dilapidated and unsafe learning environments, Navitas remained a steadfast ally.

Over the past several years, support has funded the construction of six brick-and-mortar schools in Cambodia:

Ek Phnom Primary School – November 2018

Andoung Trach Primary School – December 2019

Tual Lvieng Primary School – December 2020

Preak Trob Primary School – October 2021

Buo Khnar Primary School – January 2023

O’Srolao Primary School – December 2023

These schools have provided safe and secure learning environments for thousands of children!

Following our Journey into Block Schools

In recent years, as Classroom of Hope ventured into new territories and launched our innovative Block Schools program in Lombok, Indonesia, Navitas has stood firmly by our side. Like us, Navitas sees the beauty in addressing educational inequities at the same time as combating plastic pollution and contributing to a more sustainable world!

Since our very first Block School was built in 2021, Navitas’ unwavering support has funded the construction of three Block Schools, showcasing their enduring commitment to our mission! 

Satap 2 Tanjung Junior High School – February 2022

SDN 1 Medana Primary School – July 2022

SDN 7 Jenggala Primary School – February 2024

Just a couple of weeks ago, we were honoured to have two Navitas teachers visit the newly built SDN 7 Jenggala Block School to witness firsthand the impact of their contributions.

A group of women stand in front of a whiteboard in a new classroom
Left to right: Navitas teachers Sheera Lee and Shelley Barons standing in a new classroom at SDN 7 Jenggala with Classroom of Hope’s Rachael Conroy, Nicola Courtin, and Tanya Armstrong.
Two teachers teaching a room of students with some English words and phrases on a whiteboard
Sheera and Shelley teaching a short lesson to the students at SDN 7 Jenggala.

Impact - By the Numbers

Over the past decade of their support, Navitas’ generosity has yielded remarkable results, reflecting their profound and lasting impact on both educational facilities and entire communities. Here’s a glimpse into what we’ve achieved together:

  • 21 Schools Supported
  • 29 Classrooms Constructed
  • 27 Toilets Built
  • 6,376 Students Benefited
  • 701 Scholarships Provided
  • 12 Playgrounds Built
  • 14 Water Facilities Installed
  • 60 Bicycles Donated
  • 12.4 Tonnes of Plastic Recycled
  • 17.5 Tonnes of Carbon Reduced

 

These impressive numbers highlight the transformative power of Navitas’ contributions, showcasing how their support has helped us create safe, inclusive, and sustainable educational environments that positively impact thousands of lives.

Thank you, Navitas!

At Classroom of Hope, we are deeply grateful for Navitas’ support over the years. Their dedication to our mission has enabled us to reach new heights and make a tangible difference in the lives of thousands of children – truly exemplifying the power of long-term partnerships in driving meaningful change!

The incredible journey we’ve shared with Navitas highlights the immense potential and impact of corporate partnerships.

We invite other businesses to join us in creating lasting change! By partnering with Classroom of Hope, you can make a significant difference, support sustainable practices, and contribute to the global movement for education and equity.

As we celebrate this milestone with Navitas Education Trust, we look forward to continuing our partnership together and achieving even greater heights. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Navitas for their incredible support and dedication. Together, we are building a brighter future for children around the world.

Students at Svay Sor Primary School in the Sangker District of Cambodia, holding signs thanking Navitas for the funding that helped transform their school into a Child-Friendly School.

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