When Bonreach Kleng first joined the Teach For Cambodia Fellowship in 2019, her greatest fear was public speaking. Now in her second year of the fellowship — and after an incredibly challenging year of teaching through a pandemic — Bonreach found herself sitting as a guest speaker at a virtual colloquium hosted by Teach For Nepal.
On the panel with Bonreach were three other fellows from Teach For Afghanistan, Teach For Germany and Teach For Nepal. The topic was how the fellowship experience in their country’s ‘Teach For’ program was contributing to the vision of ensuring all kids can one day have an excellent education.
Growing up in Battambang, Bonreach witnessed firsthand how great of a struggle it is to get a good education. She was proud to graduate from the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. However, she knew that she needed to show her appreciation by giving back to the next generation. She joined the fellowship to have a positive impact on students’ lives but along the way, she is discovering who she wants to be: a compassionate leader.
Teaching during the pandemic was extremely difficult and challenged her personal motivation each day. Yet, with her community of fellows, her commitment to students, her inspiring lecturer at RUPP, her colleagues at Chea Sim Samaky High School, and the broader TFC community, Bonreach has gained a greater understanding of the education context in her country and has grown her commitment to change the lives of students through education.
The chance to network and share with fellows and alumni from other countries broadened her perspective. “The fact that educational inequity still exists today even in some of the most developed countries is a wake-up call for me. We have to urgently come together to solve this issue. Instead of complaining, we should take action. The solution starts from each of us.”
Bonreach is part of the second cohort of Teach For Cambodia and is working towards an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from RUPP. She teaches English to 165 students in grade 8 and 9 at Chea Sim Samaky High School, the school with the highest student population in Cambodia. She is teaching there alongside seven other fellows.
The Teach For Nepal Colloquium was a global virtual event hosted on 26 January 2021. Fellows, alumni and staff from different Teach For All network partners came together to discuss how they are working toward our collective vision that “one day all children will have access to an excellent education.” The events were divided into three sessions: The Global Context of Education Inequity, ‘Teach For’ Network: Our Working Approaches, and Visible Impact Around ‘Teach For’ Network.