In accordance with the government’s lockdown orders, we closed our school for one month – from April 7 until May 6. We then reopened for about one week but, due to the increasing spread of the virus in Phnom Penh, the government again ordered a partial lockdown and we again had to close our school – this time from May 14 to June 14.
We have now been open again for two weeks but student attendance is very light. Most of the students in the drawing/painting class complete their work at home and then bring it to Champey for the teacher to make suggestions. Very few students actually attend in-person class in the drawing/painting class.
Our music classroom is too small and confined to allow us to safely teach a full class so students show up only occasionally and rarely are there more than one or two students in class at one time.
On the dance stage our numbers are similarly reduced with only five to ten students in attendance for each class.
The Cambodian government is pursuing a fairly aggressive vaccination plan so we are hoping that the combination of limited lockdowns and growing vaccination numbers will soon stop the spread of the virus in the Phnom Penh area and then things can start to return to something closer to normal at our school.
At this point, the start of the next tourism high season in the autumn of this year looks very much in doubt. In total, our revenue from tourist visitors – through the admission fees which they pay and the money which they put into the donation boxes as well as their purchases in our little souvenir shops – accounts for about 35% of Kasumisou Foundation’s annual income. Having lost the entire season for 2020/2021, we are not confident that we can survive with at least a partial tourism season in 2021/2022.