Children Sponsorship Program in Cambodia Kipa 369
January – June 2013
Rural poverty in Cambodia
Although the Kingdom of Cambodia is rich in natural resources, decades of war and internal conflict have left it one of the world’s poorest countries. The legacy of strife includes social and economic scars. Many millions of land mines were sowed throughout the countryside, where millions of them still lie, hidden and unexploded. Mines are an enduring menace to the eight out of ten Cambodians who live in rural areas, and they are an obstacle to agricultural development.
Cambodia’s poor people number almost 4.8 million, and 90 per cent of them are in rural areas. Most of them depend on agriculture for their livelihood, but at least 12 per cent of poor people are landless. Small-scale farmers practice agriculture at the subsistence level, using traditional methods. Productivity is low.
Two thirds of the country’s 1.6 million rural households face seasonal food shortages each year. Rice alone accounts for as much as 30 per cent of household expenditures. Rural people are constantly looking for work or other income-generating activities, which are mainly temporary and poorly paid.
Who are Cambodia’s poor rural people?
The country’s poor people include subsistence farmers, members of poor fishing communities, landless people and rural youth, as well as internally displaced persons and mine victims. Tribal peoples and women are generally the most disadvantaged.
Women in particular do not have equal access to education, paid employment and land ownership and other property rights. For many women, reproductive health services are inadequate or non-existent. Many women had to assume the responsibility of heading their households after male family members were killed in conflict.
Where are they?
Poverty rates are highest in upland areas. The poorest people live in the districts close to the borders with Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in the north and north-east, and with Viet Nam in the east. Poverty is less severe in the districts around Tonle Sap Lake and those in the Mekong River basin in the south.
Cambodia’s poorest people are isolated. They live in remote villages, far from basic social services and facilities. Many have to travel more than 5 km to reach a health clinic, and still others live more than 5 km from the nearest road.
Why are they poor?
The pressures of a fast-growing population contribute to poverty. Because of a lack of education and skills training, people have inadequate employment opportunities and low capabilities. They are insecure, excluded and vulnerable. They have limited access to natural resources. Poor health, lack of education, poor infrastructure and low productivity lead to deeper poverty. The cycle of poverty, ill health and high health care expenditure cripples poor Cambodian families economically.
Rural poverty and lack of opportunity in rural areas have contributed to the spread of HIV AIDS, as young women migrate to urban factories and become sex workers in neighbouring countries. Although HIV prevalence rates have shown a decrease, the impact of the infection continues to be strong.
Developments in the Program in the period January to June 2013:
- At the end of June 2013 there are 97 children in the program.
- In the first 6 months 3 children left the program because families of two children moved to another province and one stopped from school.
- The Morality Program – the monk still continues to meet some of the children
- All children successfully passed into the next grade at their schools
Aim of the Program
To support poor and at risk children up to High School by providing:
- A monthly support, including a Financial Contribution towards their Schooling, Transportation and Feeding , School Supplies or Hygiene Packs
- Advice and encouragement to children and their parents of the value of education and the need for children to complete their education in order to have a good future – and not to take their child out of school before they finish their education in order for them to enter the workforce
- To help to restore moral values in society – that were practiced prior to the years of war
|Activities of the Program:
1. All Children are met one time each month and receive advice on personal health issues such as the need to keep their body clean and tidy. In addition they are encouraged to study hard in order to have a good future.
2. A monthly record is kept of the school progress of each child.
3. Each child receives a monthly supply of School Supplies or Hygiene Packs.
4. Each child receives a financial contribution towards their well-being each month to help them to pay for extra classes, lesson papers, transportation and for food at school.
5. There is a morality program at which a monk is invited to give advice to the students on universal moral issues.
6. Children are followed up by visits to the homes and schools
7. Annual educational & recreational tour is organized – when funding is available.Location
Kampong Spue: Procheavbath
Phnom Penh: Toul TangTimeframe
Commenced December 2000 with 7 children
Commenced November 2006
Commenced December 2004
Commenced October 2002
Commenced May 2006
December 2012No. Direct Beneficiaries
Monthly Meetings with all the children:
All children are met by the Partners in Compassion Program Officer once a month at each of the 7 locations at which the children are given advice on personal health and hygiene issues such as; the need keep the body clean, to keep the finger nails short and clean. In addition they are encouraged to study hard in order to have a good future for themselves and their family. A monthly record is kept of the school progress of each of the children by using their monthly school record, the development of the child can be monitored in this way. The children are also encouraged to help and support each other, this is achieved by playing games and other group activities.
At this meeting the children receive their monthly supply of School Supplies and or Hygiene Packs including soap, detergent etc. They also receive their monthly financial contribution, this is used to pay for the daily supplement to their teachers, to pay for additional classes in physics, chemistry and mathematics as well as transportation and food. The children at primary school use it to pay for extra classes in Khmer reading and writing. It is also used to pay for lesson papers and to buy food at the school.
Presently a new monk from Toul Crosaing meets the children every month at Toul Crosaing. He enjoys the friendliness of the children who he says are more childlike. While the people are expected to show great respect towards Monks he enjoys the informal atmosphere when he meets our children. He uses the Buddhist precepts and path of life to educate the students on the correct attitude to life. He encourages and shows them how to show respect to their parents and elders, to follow the instructions of their parents & to go to school regularly.
In addition he uses meditation to help the children to focus on the eight fold path of Buddhism.
Distribution of assistance to the Children in January – June 2013:
|Type of Assistance
|Bars of Soap
Invoices for goods purchased are filed and ready for inspection at any time together with the Receipts the children sign each month.
There are 7 locations with a total of 97 children.
In order to have relations of trust and acceptance with the children it is important to know their living conditions, to visit their school to see how they are progressing, to provide extra help as required for slow learners or those who were late entering the school system. When faced with children living with domestic violence or bullying at school or having taken the first steps into substance abuse there is little we can do, however having the trust of the child we can advise on the dangers, support and encourage the child.