Cambodian School Children have been putting a basic concept of heritage into their lives in their villages.
 Living far from the center of Cambodia in a remote community, 90 Cambodian school children at Banteay Chhmar Primary School are taking an innovative role in their education.  They are taking part in a “Heritage for Kids” Program in an effort to protect the famous architectural, historical and cultural site of Banteay Chhmar from deterioration caused by illegal looting and poor land- used development.

Why has Heritage Watch started training young children?

Young people easily acclimate to their surroundings and need to be oriented towards meaningful relationships. The kids’ understanding of their heritage values should include protection and preservation.  In Banteay Chhmar Primary School the children apply their knowledge, interpreting their understanding to others in their villages and visitors from other countries. 


  1. To provide heritage education to the young school children who were born, attend schools and live within the cultural heritage environment at Banteay Chhmar, so that they understand their own long-standing cultural heritage and values.
  2. To design lesson plans and course material that implements the heritage education program at the levels of primary and secondary schools in Cambodia.



The Heritage for Kids Project involves 90 young school children from two classes at the 5th Grade of Banteay Chhmar primary school.  They are between 10 and 15 years old. The project provides the kids with a basic concepts of tangible and intangible heritage and, through activities—such as using coloring and reading comic books, historic site visits, and museum visits—provides opportunities to explore important ideas.

The lesson plans and educational activities are introduced to the teachers will in advance in order to get them involved in promoting their students’ performance.

The project encourages the kids to start thinking about some of the problems related to looting and the unintended consequences of activities that cause the destruction of the sites.  The students learn that the ignorance about the value of the historical sites gives rise to problems that they can help address. 

The Contents of the Heritage for Kids Program

1.     Defining the terms.  What is heritage?

2.     Different forms of heritage

3.     Natural heritage (features such as a mountain, sea, river, and lake, fauna and flora)

4.     Cultural heritage:

4.1           Tangible cultural heritage

4.2           Intangible cultural heritage

5.     Local heritage: archaeological sites, burials, ancient mounds, kiln sites, early industrial sites and artifacts

6.     Preservation, conservation and management of heritage, in a museum and in the community

7.     Using the coloring book on a site visit

8.     Visiting the Banteay Meanchey Museum

9.     What can we do?  Why is Cambodian heritage so important to you?

The heritage education program normally took place on Saturday afternoons with two sessions: an hour.

The Students of Banteay Chhmar High School

16 students in Grades 11 and 12 at Banteay Chhmar High School, who have been trained in heritage and research methodology by the Khmer-Thai research team of The Cultural Relationship in Mainland SEA Project (CRMA), have researched the archaeological sites at Banteay Chhmar.  These advanced students have joined the Heritage for Kids Project to pass on their knowledge and experience to the younger kids. The advance students led the kids in different groups to historical sites in Banteay Chhmar community.

The Closing Ceremony

On 19 July 2015, the Closing Ceremony of the “Heritage for Kids” Project was organized in Banteay Chhmar primary school with about 150 participants that included the General Director of Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, the Governor of Banteay Meanchey Province and representatives of provincial departments, local authorities, and  delegates from Thailand.

The Closing Ceremony celebrated the kids’ understanding of their heritage as they start applying this knowledge and experience in their villages.

Being Noticed by the Outside World

The project recognizes that the kids of the villagers are custodians of Banteay Chhmar’s future, and that they have an important role to play in protecting, preserving and developing their own cultural heritage.

The kids’ activities are being noticed by local people and the outside world. Many tourists have taken photographs of the school activities and have shown genuine interest. Typically, they see it as a good way to educate young people to think and to solve the problems themselves, and to be aware of the common benefits to the public.


Who sponsors the project?

The Heritage for Kids Project was sponsored donors throughout the world and implemented by Heritage Watch in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, APSARA National Authority and the CRMA Project as well as with strong support by Province of Banteay Meanchey and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.


With the success of the “Heritage for Kids” in Stage 1, we will proceed with the Heritage for Kids in Stage 2 “Training in Heritage and Environment” in January 2016.












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