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Feiy is from Boeung Kachhang, which is a 20 minute boat ride from the capital of Koh Kong. The beauty of the village is tainted by litter, which is regularly dumped on the island during strong sea surges. There is no electricity or water supply and villagers use generators and water bought from the mainland. Most people living here are fishermen, garment factory workers and boat drivers. Many are struggling to earn a living due to changes in the local climate, with fish stocks rapidly declining and storms increasing. 

Feiy is a teacher at the local primary school. Through Save the Children’s programme he has been learning how to teach children to adapt to the changing climate and prepare for disasters.

At school he has changed his teaching methods – with students now learning from discussion and research, as well as by interviewing village elders and authorities on issues related to the environment and disasters. After a few months Feiy noticed some changes in his school and community. Students and villagers have become more aware of ways to deal with rising sea levels, how to protect themselves from storms and lightning, and how to protect the fragile mangroves. 

Not only have children improved their knowledge on the environment, they have also been involved in creating and implementing school safety procedures, disaster plans and school hazard maps. These measures help ensure students are safe while learning and that they will be able to continue to study when disasters strike.

Mak Srey Nuon, an 11-year-old student from Feiy’s class, is pleased with his new knowledge. “I have learned from my teacher about disasters such as storms, sea level rising, lightning and drought. I am aware that to mitigate the rising sea level we need to build a higher road to school, then children have a safe road to go to school.”

It is not just the children who are pleased. Mrs. Sen Maryum, Feiy’s wife, says, “I am very happy that my husband has taught my family to mitigate the risks of disasters and how to recover and respond. Even though it was confusing at first, now we understand and feel prepared for any disaster.”