LaValla School is the only registered primary school in Cambodia for students with a physical disability. Founded in 1998 in a small house in Phnom Penh, it moved to a city on the edge of the capital called Takhmao 16 years ago to a purpose built school. The school was financed by many generous Australian donors and the original Marists were Australian Brothers Terry Heinrich and Daryl Slater.
Today the school has 86 students and most are residential because their families have recognized that in their rural regions their children do not have access to education. Even in 2018 some entering year 1 primary are 16 years old. The education programme provides an accelerated curriculum of six years primary being completed in three years.
On June 22 the students and staff of LaValla School hosted a celebratory dinner to mark this occasion. The 85 graduates of the school now at Villa Maria Hostel, which is part of Marist Solidarity Cambodia project and attending high school or university, attended along with their staff. Besides a meal and speeches marking the event the singing and games continued for some hours marking a wonderful commemoration of a wonderful Marist project providing education access for young Cambodians often denied it.