Project Pulse: Monitoring Visit 2019

Globe in library

As part of our governance process, we conduct annual monitoring visits to our project partner, Human and Hope Association Cambodia. Overall, we are very pleased with how the 2019 visit went, and are happy to share the report with you from our CEO, Sally Hetherington.

Education Projects

The English classes continue to have a 90% pass rate, with students communicating with teachers in English inside and outside of the classroom. The education team expanded their curriculum so their students could improve their English further, however, after a trial it didn’t work well due to attendance. They are now undertaking a major English curriculum overhaul with support from experts in the field of English education.

The behaviour of the students has been improving consistently due to participation in living values class.  

There are currently 66 students in the Khmer language class, and in 2018 the team began testing their students’ reading and writing skills to monitor progress and adjust their teaching methodology.

In 2018, 10 students graduated from the preschool class and transitioned to public school. They continue to improve their Khmer language and mathematics skills at HHA. There are now another 10 students studying in the preschool class who are learning how to read and write the Khmer alphabet, children songs, arts and crafts and basic mathematics. This program is laying a foundation for the students to become good students, friends, children, and citizens in the future.

Around 10 to 25 students join art class each week. Every Sunday for one hour, they learn to create arts and crafts with recycle stuff and some provided art supplies. They then watch a cartoon for half an hour. The team has seen the improvement of our student’s creativity as most of them can use their own ideas to create new arts and crafts just with minimal support from their teacher.

This year, an average of 150 students attend the library each day. There is a schedule in the library to ensure students have equal time to read and play. The creative writing competition will be changed this year to target small children as the older children are too busy with their extra classes at public school.

Assessment: This project is exceeding expectations, and I am very impressed with the research and preparation that is being invested in developing a new curriculum.

Community Development Projects

In 2018, almost 400 villagers participated in community workshops. 80% of villagers improved their knowledge of road safety, 100% on hygiene, 95% on domestic violence, 100% on child protection and 93% on parenting. These workshops will recommence from June this year.

Research has been conducted into establishing a mushroom farming program, funds dependent.

Six villagers joined the family farm program and the training time was reduced to only four hours as they have limited time to join. The time is not sufficient for the whole training, so they are learning the basics of farming – land preparation, making compost fertilizer, making natural insect repellent, and the significance of chemical-free farming. The prolonged heatwave has caused issues with the farms.

There are 71 students on Opportunity Scholarships, representing 36% of students in the English and Khmer language programs.

Outreach continues to be conducted with families, particularly when students are absent or they have low scores.

Assessment: All projects are meeting expectations, apart from the family farm program due to reduced participation.

In 2018, eleven students graduated from the sewing program. Five students secured jobs in sewing shops and factories and six students set up their home sewing business. Out of those six students who set up their own businesses, three joined HHA’s sewing collaboration.

Vocational Training Projects

The 2019 cohort began studying in January. The advanced class had six students, but one student was forced to drop out due to financial issues. These students will graduate at the end of June, and a new class will begin studying in July. Out of the beginner sewing class, three of the students come from very rural areas and are receiving a petrol allowance.

Six sewing machine loans were provided in April, and there are now 26 active loans. A 100% repayment rate continues to be maintained.

The sewing business and collaboration are going well with consignment and wholesale orders. HHA now sells its products at Cambodian Living Arts in Phnom Penh and have a new wholesale customer who sells the products at the Made in Cambodia Markets in Siem Reap.

The sewing collaboration seamstresses have made uniforms, curtains and table runners for the staff at Build Bright University and Manulife insurance company.

A new seamstress has been hired from the advanced sewing class as one seamstress is currently on maternity leave and being compensated in line with the Cambodian Labour Law.

The main issue with the sewing program continues to be that some students lack the confidence to use their skills completely after graduation. The team are addressing this through a new mentoring program and improved questioning when bringing the students into the program. After consulting with their Sewing Advisor, they are going to change some lessons and teaching methodology.

Assessment: This project is meeting expectations and the team is constantly seeking feedback to improve the outcomes. I am very impressed with the profit that HHA has been generating from their sewing business.

Concerns and Successes

The following concerns were addressed, and successes celebrated:

Concern – Workplace safety – Several workplace safety issues were identified, including rusted and broken items lying around, broken covers over drainage that could be fallen through, tripping hazards and overflowing rubbish bins. Due to a change of accountant, the monthly hazard check hasn’t been completed. These issues will be fixed by the end of the month and the monthly hazard check will be resumed by the new accountant.

Concern – Sewing students – Three of the students who graduated in 2018 are on a lower income than the other sewing graduates as they don’t want to work outside of their homes. They will be involved in a newly established mentoring program to work to motivate them and increase their confidence.

Success – English pass rate – For the past two and a half years, the English language class pass rate has remained consistent at 90%. This is a big achievement for the education team who work hard to improve the curriculum and motivate their students against all odds.

Success – Two additional families moved out of poverty – As a direct result of HHA’s programs, an additional two families have moved out of poverty, bringing the total so far to 19.

Please join us in congratulating our project partner, Human and Hope Association, on their great progress. We are incredibly proud to be supporting this locally-run organisation that is creating sustainable change.

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