Many Cambodian schoolchildren take 10 years or more to
complete primary school.
Helping children living in poverty fulfill
their potential through education is one of ChildFund's top priorities in Cambodia, where we have
worked since 2007. Education is key in helping children in poverty, and
although great strides have been made across Cambodia during the past decade,
children living in poverty face many obstacles to attending school. Finishing
primary school is one of the most important solutions to poverty that can help a child improve his
or her chances of emerging from destitution, but despite the gains made in the past
10 years, this goal remains out of reach for too many Cambodian children.
Serious Obstacles: Poverty and Education
Approximately 31 percent of Cambodia's population
of 14.3 million people live below the poverty line, many of whom reside in rural
areas where children don’t have access to education. Primary schools have maintained high enrollments across Cambodia in the past decade, and much progress has been
made to close gaps between Cambodian girls and boys, but according to UNICEF, many
Cambodian children take 10 years or more to complete primary school
due to being held back consistently. Overall, more than half of Cambodian
schoolchildren do not complete primary school at all.
Data from the U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) suggests that that effects of poverty on education are detrimental as economic pressures
often result in children being forced to drop out of school at both the primary
and secondary level. Almost half of families need their children to work in
order to supplement household income, and many
families simply cannot keep up with academic expenses such as uniforms and
school supplies. Without a strong educational foundation, children's chances of
emerging from poverty are greatly diminished.
When children are given the opportunity to attend
school from an early age, they are much more likely to complete their studies,
advance through their grades and graduate successfully. However, in many parts
of rural Cambodia, children living in poverty never have this chance.
percent of children living in the Svay Chrum district of the Svay Rieng province
never enroll in kindergarten due to the financial pressures of living in
poverty. To address these effects that poverty has on education, we help support kindergarten programs in
community-based schools to provide children with the chance to attend and
complete kindergarten and progress to primary education.
helped create Child Clubs in 25 primary schools across Svay Rieng province to
provide children with the resources they need to enroll and stay in school.
These clubs are helping children have the opportunity to engage in music and sports
activities, and take advantage of mini-libraries to improve their literacy
We have also supplied thousands of Cambodian children in primary schools with the equipment they need to complete their education. More than
2,000 children were given school uniforms, and 1,300 were provided with supplies
including notebooks, mathematical equipment and school bags — items
that would be out of reach for many families.
Maintaining Momentum in Cambodia Today
Thanks to the support of our sponsors and monthly
giving partners, ChildFund has accomplished much in Cambodia, but the road ahead
is long. We cannot continue to support the education of at-risk Cambodian
children without your help.
Our Children's Greatest Needs fund is a great way for you to help children in Cambodia. This program enables you to help ChildFund provide vital resources to children
in need, rehabilitate schools and work with local partners to improve access to
educational opportunities for children and families living in the world's