Sra Pou village, Cambodia. 
School by local NGO, 
Founded in 2011, 
Number of students:  , 
Age:  

Skill development through building, utilizing and learning in vocational school
Sra Pou vocational school is a vocational training center and community center in small village in Cambodia. The school was built with a joint project of Sra Pou village, local NGO, Finnish NGO and Finnish architecture firm. Not only its architectural design but also the construction process were thoughtfully designed for community empowerment and skill development. The center is used for vocational training  such as sewing and also for community meeting space.



Sra Pou vocational school is a vocational training center and community center in a small village in Cambodia. The center was built with a joint project of Sra Pou village, local NGO, Finnish NGO and design school in Aalto University in Finland.

Develop villagers’ skills to earn their own living
vocational training center for income generation
– place for community development

Skill development through building, utilizing and learning in school
Designed architecture and construction process for community empowerment and skill development
– Providing vocational training supported by Local NGO

Designed building and construction process for community development
– Construction process as skill development
The school building was made out of local materials with local workforce.
The aim was to encourage the community to make the most out of the materials that are easily available, so that they could apply the same construction techniques in their future building projects. The whole school was hand-made and it allowed employing many people from the community. All techniques were simple and transferable.

– Building structure encouraging utilization
Wall of the building made of bricks are laid out with small holes, so that indirect sunlight and gentle wind come in to cool the space. The whole community space is open, providing comfortable shaded outdoor space. The colorful handicraft doors are visible from far away and welcome visitors coming along the main road.

Center for vocational training and community meeting
The vocational school provides professional training and helps the people to start sustainable businesses together. A local NGO organizes the training and management.
It also acts as a public gathering place where people can use democratic decision-making for the whole community.

Participation of community people
Participation and skill development in construction process
-Adaptation to community use

Villagers participated the school construction and learn skills.
After opening the school, the upstairs of the building is used for vocational training such as sewing skill. The downstairs is used as a makeup shop, and the open community space is expected to provides a good spot for motorcycle repair.

Management of school by community
-Empower and encourage local people’s ownership to take control of their school

For many humanitarian and socially responsive projects, it’s important to not only involve the community but also to empower and encourage them to take control of the building process so that they feel the building is theirs.