“Sayni is 33 years old, has two sons and lives in Phnom Penh. Her mother died when she was young and she spent her childhood with a violent and alcoholic father. Her husband is a simple man but in the big city started drinking heavily and became violent. Money is never enough and Sayni often thought she would not make it.
With our support, Sayni attended a course to become a dressmaker. Things have started changing; now she works in a cooperative and has saved enough money to buy a sewing machine with which she can take on small jobs on her own.
With us, Sayni has learnt how to sow but even more importantly, she has become aware that violence and abuse are not, and should not, be the norm.”
Alberto, WeWorld operator in Cambodia.
The situation in Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. 90% of its 14 million inhabitants works in agriculture and survives on a single harvest per year. In 2005 the World bank estimated that 40% of the population was living on less than 1$ per day.
The 2008 food crisis and the 2009 financial crisis worsened people’s living conditions, causing large movements of people from the countryside to urban areas; these are now mostly concentrated in the outskirts of big cities, especially Phnom Penh. Families coming from the countryside do not have the means to find a job and are forced to live in shanty towns, with very poor hygienic and health conditions, without a reliable income and without enough resources to send children to school. The education and the health systems are unable to cope with the country’s needs: in the Mondolkiri region, where only 61% of children aged from 6 to 14 attend school, the death rate of children aged less than 5 is 1 for every 6 live births; furthermore, only 28% of women have access to healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth.
Poverty, together with widespread corruption and weak enforcement of laws, makes women and children vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation. The existing national plan to protect, prevent and save children from any kind of vulnerability is essentially neglected because of a lack of interest from local officials, widespread corruption and the existing high rate of impunity.
How we operate
In Cambodia we operate in many fields: improving schools, providing educating on nutrition, helping with the recovery of victims of child trafficking and fighting against sexual exploitation.
Schools are at the heart of our projects. We implement awareness-raising and inclusion campaigns to fight early school leaving. We provide children and teachers with the tools to reflect on the country’s most urgent problems, as well as to work on their solution.
In Cambodia we are present in 100 schools and kindergarten throughout the country , to improve the access to education , the education quality and to decrease the school drop-out.
Our action aims to create a child- friendly environment, to stimulate their growth and risks-free.
For this reason we provide the teachers with tools and training needed to raise peaceful children through improvement of school facilities and sanitation availability.
Our goal is children protection and safeguard of children’s rights whether at school or in communities.
We work to ensure children’s opportunity of expressing their views and to be heard.