DPETNS (Donabate Portrane Educate Together National School) is a multi-denominational primary school in North County Dublin, Ireland.
Nadine France, a parent in Donabate, who has worked as a development aid worker for the past 20 years, approached the school with the exciting prospect of establishing partnerships between the school and Cambodian organisations.
July 2013 four teachers from DPETNS travelled out to Cambodia on a feasibility to study with regard to establish an educational partnership.
While there they came across PEPY(Promoting Education emPowering Youth) and were greatly impressed what they saw. PEPY is an NGO that aspire to improve the quality of education in a rural area of Cambodia called Chanleas Dai
Since October 2013, DPETNS and PEPY have been working in partnership. This partnership works to enhance the teaching and learning of Learn Together throughout DPETNS and improve the quality of education in PEPY also. Additionally, it has provided an opportunity to empower all students involved to play an active role in global development. In May 2013 members of BETNS (Balbriggan Educate Together National School) have become involved in the partnership. BETNS have been collaborating with DPETNS in some of the partnership activites and in addition Francis Street and Donabate Community College have come on board in 2017.
Achievements So Far:
Personal connections: A “penpal exchange” has been established between the two organizations and is now in its second year.
Shared artwork: Shared artwork projects between DPETNS and PEPY based around topics such as identity, environmental education and positive.
Cultural exchange: Celebration of Cambodian and Irish culture. DPETNS have celebrated Bon Om Touk and Khmer New Year throughout the school.
Education and Awareness: All children in DPETNS have been taught class-specific development education lessons specifically related to Cambodia. The parents in DPETNS have been informed regularly of the partnership through formal meetings and in written communication. Additionally students in PEPY’s Learning Center have participated in development education workshops.
Teacher Placement: Since 2013 eight teachers from DPETNS, two teachers from BETNS, two teachers from Francis Street and one from Greenhill secondary school in Tallaght have travelled out to Cambodia. There they have learned, taught and collaborated.
Fundraising: Since 2014 DPETNS has carried out a series of fundraising events to raise funds to support the work of the partnership and the work of PEPY. Included in these events was a fun run, a social night and a sponsored children’s run. The communities in Ireland have contributed over $39,000 dollars to directly support some of PEPY’s programs.
Irish Aid in Vietnam and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation have both been instrumental in supporting our partnership also. Next year our partnership will celebrate its fifth anniversary. A lot has been achieved in that period. A lot more awaits too we hope.