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Education Programe

RDI has developed interactive curriculum that uses live presentations in the classroom to teach various health related lessons. Highly effective puppet shows, visual demonstrations, and hands on activities are used in each program

The average rural school teacher may only have a third grade education. Because of the funding limitations in rural schools health education is totally overlooked. This vital program is literally saving lives. The Cambodian government has formally invited RDI to visit every school in the country. *Visiting teams play an integral role in RDI’s capacity to carry this ambitious education project on to rural villages.*



▶ Post surveys revealed very high retention rates of information taught in puppet programs at rural schools.

▶  Cambodian children are of the most physically underdeveloped in the world

▶ One fourth of all Cambodians were killed in the late 70’s, the educated population was the main target.  The effect in public education is ongoing.

▶ The average garment factory worker makes 40 dollars a month (4 times the amount of a school teacher.)

▶ Diarrhea claims the lives of thousands of children each year from dehydration.

Special Needs

1. Short term volunteer groups to help teach at the hundreds of schools that have requested the programs.

2. Puppets (from Puppet Productions)

3. Kits of: Soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes.



Without basic health understanding many children remain sick from easily treatable and preventable illness.   RDI has developed a water program to rapidly educate students on how to prevent the spread of this illness and how to treat it.



Dental education is also very poor, and nearly all rural Cambodians are missing many teeth.  School presentations are being used to follow up the water lesson with a complete lesson on dental hygiene as well. Sample Script



A third program is also being used to teach nutrition. Cambodia Human Development Index places the country amongst the lowest 20% in the world with nearly 50% of its children being underweight or stunted in growth.



A fourth program teaches the most basic concepts of germ transmission.  At this stage of the RDI education program, students have begun to understand health and the dangers of germs.

Puppets: Cambodians are not over stimulated with media.  Unlike western cultures, puppet shows prove over and over to be highly effective means of communicating and teaching important concepts to ALL ages.  Elementary and high school students are captivated by the RDI puppet presentations.

What better way to teach about water, than with a frog who knows all about water?   What better way to talk about the private subject of diarrhea than with a little girl puppet telling the students how she mixed salt, sugar and water to make a remedy for her younger brother?

Magic Tricks: While visual object lessons are more and more common in the United States, RDI has used simple tricks to demonstrate health concepts.  It may seem very improbable to an uneducated person that a germ you cannot see can hurt your health.  A great way to visualize this concept is to make a clean silk vanish and make a dirty silk appear.  When explained thoroughly, the “magical” becomes practical and helps the students remember key concepts.

Hands On: Using hands on demonstrations are also very effective.   For instance, in the water program teachers recruit a volunteer to demonstrate to the class how to wash their hands with soap. This is just another way RDI makes learning visual and practical.  Many students will use soap for the first time in our program.  (RDI volunteers also distribute soap at the end of these presentations.)


Also: Photos and drawings are used in the RDI interactive teaching program to tell stories and to clearly repeat concepts taught with the puppets and magic tricks.  In one hour the students encounter possibly the most memorable presentation of their entire year’s curriculum.  (School principals are known to sit in and watch the same program dozens of times because they find it so captivating.)

Many students will wash their hands with a bar of soap for the first time during our presentation.  When the proper funds are made available, students will leave school with their first toothbrush and their own bar of soap.

Further Education:
Our studio staff also converts these school programs into videos for national television stations and for mass distribution in the local market. Public Service Announcements are also widely used with some of the same puppet characters.