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25 May 2023 - Story

Preschool teacher discovers true value through volunteer work

An undergraduate student and community volunteer has become a community preschool teacher firmly committed to supporting children’s education and dedicated to personal growth to achieve her dreams. 

21-year-old Dalin is the eldest sister among three siblings from a farming family in the rural area of Banteay Preal commune. She has a positive and admirable attitude as a student in the field of Education Administration in Kampong Chhnang province. 

During her first year of university, Dalin struggled with group discussions while doing assignments. She did not have the confidence to share her ideas with the team members. 

It was at about the same time that Dalin noticed that most of the caregivers in her community used punishment to educate their children. As a result, children were hesitant to share their needs and concerns with their families. Although she wanted to advise caregivers, she had no power to address this problem.

With a strong desire for self-development, in June 2022, Dalin applied to become a Village Volunteer (VV) withSave the Children’s ANCP RECOVER- project, which is supported by the Australian Government. The project supports village volunteers to conduct monthly parenting sessions that positively raise their children and communication in their families to ensure children are enjoy the comfort of their homes. VVs also support children and youth to learn about self-protective behaviors, build self-esteem, problem-solving skills, and knowledge of protection rights and where to access service and get support.

At first, Dalin was anxious to lead sessions for caregivers because she had never done anything like this. However, she still tried because she saw it as an opportunity to gain knowledge and confidence while changing caregivers' thoughts on violence. Dalin was trained and mentored by Commune Committee for Women and Children (CCWC) and project staff members to address her fears. 

She is now full of enthusiasm and confidence in her ability to make a valuable contribution to society. She observes that after attending a series of training sessions on positive parenting, caregivers have begun to change their approach and apply positive parenting techniques with their children. Children actively participate in sessions Dalin facilitates because they understand the importance of lessons for their protection. 

Dalin is excited that caregivers are moving towards educating and positively raising their children. They learn to control their anger and respond positively to children’s needs. In addition, children also know where to get support and report when a terrible incident occurs.

Additionally, Dalin’s father, Much said, "Before, I thought using punishment was the right way to educate children if we wanted them to be good people. But my mind changed after my daughter shared what she learned from positive parenting sessions." He continued, "Dalin frequently tells me to use a soft voice to communicate with her young siblings if I need them to help. Following her advice, I can see it works because now they voluntarily help us with household chores and farming without asking for assistance. I’m happy to see that we have better relationships."  

The commune chief recently selected Dalin as a community preschool teacher because of her commitment and qualifications, including communicating with impact and problem-solving. She was delighted to get this position because it was her dream. Dalin accepts roles and responsibilities happily and her schedules are tight but manageable. 

Dalin would like to thank Save the Children for allowing a young learner like her to strengthen her abilities and values in positive parenting training for caregivers. She wants to see more community members practise positive parenting with their children. 

Interviewed by: Chin Sary, Project Officer 
Written by: Yous Ratha, Communications Officer
Edited by: Taing Vida, Communications and Campaign Manager
Proofread by: Chin Kethya, Donor Reporting Specialist