Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No wasted opportunities at school made out of trash



No wasted opportunities at school made out of trash

Colourfully painted recycled bottles are used to decorate the Coconut School.
Colourfully painted recycled bottles are used to decorate the Coconut School. Hong Menea

No wasted opportunities at school made out of trash

The Coconut School on Koh Dach (Silk Island), where about 200 children aged from between eight and12 years old learn English, to read and to use computers, is total garbage – literally.

The walls are made out of thousands of recycled beer bottles, the tables are supported by old motorcycle wheels, the seats are coconut tree logs and even the school sign outside is crafted from old car tyres.

The school was founded in 2013 by Ouk Vanday, 30, a hospitality worker, after he visited the island.

“I saw a lot of children running around without clothes, and then I stopped to talk with the villagers,” he said.

“They said that there is no organisation or church in their village, so I started to think it would be good to have an [English] school for children in this village,” he added.

The school was built out of recycled material because it was good for the environment and cheap, and coconut trees because they were plentiful on the island.

Vanday started offering English classes by himself, but six others have since volunteered to help him.

Even though a sign describes the school as “church, school and library”, Vanday said no there was no religious aspect to the project.

“We just have that because some churches donated money,” he said.

In May of this year they finished building an extension known as the Rubbish House, which has a computer room and library.

Similar in design to the rest of the school, instead of tiles, the floor of the house is made from bottles buried upside down in sand.

Many of the families on the island did not send their children to the government-run local schools, Vanday said.

“If they don’t have study material, they can come to the Coconut School and use the materials that we received from sponsors and visitors,” he said.

“I don’t want any benefit from the school, but I want to see more Coconut Schools in different places all around the country,” he added.

For more information and to support the Coconut School head to coconutschool.org.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro