“The children’s feedback impressed all those present and some were moved to tears by hearing their experience.”

Have you ever completed an online survey or filled in a feedback form and really let them know how you felt about the service you received? Sometimes when we feel ripped off or poorly served the simple act of giving feedback is enough to make us feel better. We hope that by sharing our experience, nobody will have to go through what we did, and next time (if there is a next time!) things will be different.

Feedback is an important component of GDG projects and we ask all project partners to incorporate feedback mechanisms that are genuinely accessible for beneficiaries. It’s important to hear the voices of the beneficiaries and to understand their experience so we can learn from this and improve. Sometimes this means getting creative because not everybody is able to fill in a form.

This week in Phnom Penh, our partner Sunshine Cambodia for project J529N hosted a reflection workshop on ‘The Child’s Rights and Protection’. In attendance were 165 public and private school principals, vice principals, teachers and pastors from 27 public and private partner schools. During the workshop, the children’s voices were shared via a video clip in which the children talked about their appreciation, and gave suggestions to their teachers.

Some children shared that they were living in very hard conditions with their family; they could not afford to attend school and were afraid because they didn’t have money to pay teachers (informal payments). Some children have even experienced violence in school by their teachers. The children’s feedback touched everyone’s heart, and some were moved to tears by hearing the children’s experience.

The teachers were invited to respond, and shared how the feedback impacted them and motivated them to work harder to help the students:

“it has touched my heart so much to see these children. We need to pay close attention with all these poor children. There are some negative (experiences) mentioned in this video but we need to (act) strongly to change it. We need to work together to improve it. I would like to recommend Sunshine Cambodia conducts this event at least once a year and invites all the teachers to hear these children’s voice”

“I feel so sad to see these children said their teachers collected money from them while they have to work so hard to support family and pay for their school while their teacher already have salary to support their family. (She had to pause for awhile because she was so emotional). We need to work together to change this problem. We need to give this opportunity to them. We all need to put ourselves in these children shoes before asking for any money from them. The poor children, their ambition is to get out of poverty too. One of my students said to me, ‘I was born with a poor family this is not my failure, but if I die in poverty then it is my failure’. I see these children want to change their life condition. When we help these children, we help our country.”

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