Nestled amid Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia is a land of rice paddies and much poverty. In many of the impoverished rural areas, home to 85 percent of the population, children have reduced access to education, safe water, sanitation facilities or employment opportunities.
More than half of the population is under 25 years old.
But ChildFund has been working in these remote, rural areas since 2007, connecting communities to education, clean water and sanitation facilities, child protection services, training about child rights and youth initiatives. Our work in Cambodia draws on partnerships with national and local governments and is based on communities’ needs as determined by the communities themselves.
ChildFund has served children in Cambodia since 2007.
In one district alone, less than 50 percent of pre-school children attend kindergarten. In established community-based schools in this district, we support kindergartens and facilitating government teacher training on curriculum development, lesson planning and child-friendly teaching methods.
In many schools, Child Clubs provide resources from mini-libraries to life skills and leadership training and sports and music activities. Child Club members are supported to provide peer education within their communities. Classrooms have been built, six school latrines have been rehabilitated, 16 school latrines have been constructed and 25 schools have received new playground equipment.
Students are provided school uniforms and supplies, and many now have now have bicycles to help them get to school more easily. ChildFund has also provided blankets and mosquito nets, which prevent sickness and promote continuous school attendance.
“I want to have a new school so that other children can come to study,” says Kador, age 10.
Learning for Life and Livelihood
ChildFund teaches young people to earn their own living while helping their communities rebuild after years of conflict. Youth receive vocational training in sewing, wedding make-up, motorbike maintenance, electrical repair and business planning. ChildFund also provides life skills training and additional vocational training in aquaculture, fish farming and integrated pest management. Youth in turn provide peer education in life skills within their community.
Working with local and regional governments, ChildFund also provides communities, youth and children with training about child rights.
Water and Sanitation
We’ve established Quality and Assurance Committees in each commune to help identify households with the greatest need for a latrine and to oversee their construction and maintenance. More than 1,000 household latrines have been constructed, and 80 household wells have been constructed and 20 more rehabilitated. ChildFund also helped to establish a latrine construction workshop with one youth group. Dozens of billboards illustrate health and hygiene information on a regular basis.