Each year as an important element of our governance, Human and Hope conducts a monitoring visit with our program partner, HHA Cambodia. This year, for obvious reasons, the monitoring visit was held virtually instead of in-person. Our board was very impressed with the effectiveness of HHA Cambodia’s program, and the resilience of their staff. As we are committed to being transparent, we are sharing the outcomes of our monitoring visit.
Output 1 – Provide education programs to students aged four and upwards in order to equip students with knowledge and a love of learning.
In 2019, 203 children attended the English, Khmer and Living values classes. 85% of English students passed their final exam, and 100% percent of the 10 children who completed the preschool program transitioned to public school. On average 130 students attended the library each day. Art class attendance increased when it was run on Fridays.
Students’ ability and confidence improved due to the use of a new assessment tool which assess student’s performance in a more complete method and focuses mainly on contemporary skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.
Student behaviour also improved during 2019 thanks to the living values class and the reinforcement of student rules. The observations of teachers highlighted that most students respect each other and that they are constantly improving their attitudes towards their classmates and towards learning.
In 2020 there was an increase from 203 to 250 students. This growth was unfortunately hindered by the outbreak of COVID19 in Cambodia in March 2020, and the mandatory closure of physical classrooms.
- Online teaching: 60% of students were able to access to online classes using their parents’ phone. The HHA team engaged in work to transition their education programs to an online platform, and while there were some initial issues, they have been able to continue to engage the majority of their students in an interactive form of online education. It is important to acknowledge that this is the first time that all involved teachers and students have engaged in online learning.
- Homework: The remaining 40% of students who were not able to access to online learning have been provided with homework every two weeks. They have been meeting with their teachers at the center at different times each fortnight. They meet and talk to their teachers for around 15 minutes to correct their work and arrange new homework.
- Drop-in session: Students have also been encouraged to borrow books from the library to read at home. Khmer students have been given a Khmer story book to read once a week.
- Outreach: HHA staff have continued to conduct home visit to encourage parents to help teaching their children at home and solve any problem that have arisen due to the changes in how classes are being facilitated.
- There were some challenges associated with HHA Cambodia trialling the new curriculum and the recruitment of two new teachers, however, the trial was eventually successful, and the two teachers passed their probations.
- Internet connection issues initially limited the ability for HHA Cambodia to engage students in online learning, however, the installation of a new WIFI network for students and teachers only has assisted in dealing with this.
- As it has been difficult to assess student’s progress when they are working online, homework is checked when they come into class.
- Virtual learning is difficult due to varying levels of electronic literacy – lots of people are not familiar with using technology. HHA Cambodia is engaging community members in digital literacy education to overcome this.
- There is a general high risk of students dropping out of public schools due to the varied responses by the education system to online learning – students will be encouraged to attend school once classes return.
Assessment: This project continues to provide students with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and develop a love for learning. The ability for HHA Cambodia to adjust their teaching methods in response to the impacts of COVID19 has meant that their students are able to continue to experience the benefits of HHA Cambodia’s newly implemented curriculum.
Output 2 – Provide empowering opportunities to the community to increase income and limit social problems.
In 2019, 200 of HHA Cambodia’s students completed the hygiene, child protection and environment workshops. In association with these workshops, 100 of the students’ parents completed the domestic violence, health, parenting and safety commune/village workshops. 100% of the participants in these workshops reported an increase in knowledge
71 students were supported with opportunity scholarships during 2019, enabling them to engage in HHA Cambodia’s educational programs when they might otherwise not have been able to.
In 2020, the outbreak of COVID 19 resulted in several specific community outreach being implemented.
- Tuk Tuk outreach: This program conveyed information on COVID prevention to general community through loudspeakers. The program ran for 2 weeks and reached more than 20 villages in five communes.
- Mask and soap distribution: To date HHA Cambodia has distributed 3,500 masks and 550 handwash soap to general community.
- Emergency Food Relief: To date HHA Cambodia has distributed emergency food to 231 families who are most in need in the community.
- Home Food Garden Project: To date 10 families have joined this program, which was initiated instead of the mushroom farming program. The program provides families with the tools and knowledge to grow food in their home gardens. Funds have been raised for a further 58 families to engage in the program, and they are due to commence in October 2020.
Assessment: This project continues to provide essential support to the community and continues to provide community members with opportunities to increase income and limit social problems. The importance of this project has been demonstrated in HHA Cambodia’s ability to engage the community in COVID19 specific responses.
Output 3 – Provide vocational training opportunities to villagers in the poverty bracket aged 16 and upwards.
In 2019, 11 villagers completed HHA Cambodia’s sewing training, life skill courses and mentoring. 90% of graduated sewing students generated additional income, 6 secured external employment and 5 set up their home businesses. 12 sewing machine loans were provided to students, and HHA Cambodia maintained their 100% repayment rate.
Sewing lessons were updated, meaning students were able to practice the most important lessons more during class, helping to build their confidence in using their skills. In addition, this year HHA Cambodia started mentoring session with students. As a result, students increased their knowledge on solving their problems in learning, personal and families.
Surveys highlighted that of the 11 graduated sewing students, 95% increased confidence and leadership, and 100% saw a reduction or elimination of domestic violence in their family life. The post program survey at the end of 2019 showed that 12 graduated students moved out of poverty, but due to COVID, most of them lost their income. HHA Cambodia estimate that as a result, most of them fall back to poverty.
HHA Cambodia was able to select another graduated sewing students to be an employed seamstress. This means that they now have 5 contract seamstresses, who earned on average USD$100 a month in 2019.
- Initial class closure: Upon the initial COVID19 outbreak, HHA Cambodia were required to close the class for five weeks.
- Class resumption: After COVID spread in community has stopped in Cambodia, HHA Cambodia decided to resume sewing classes with prevention measure in place.
- 2020 Graduates: 5 students have recently graduated from the courses, 3 of them have secured employment and 2 are currently looking for jobs.
- Current status: Currently, HHA Cambodia have 14 students in the sewing program. 6 are in advanced class and 8 in beginner class. This year, they have accepted 2 public school teachers to join the beginner class as they want to up-skill their sewing life-skill to teach at public school.
- COVID has caused some graduated sewing students from 2019 to move back to poverty as they lost their jobs, along with many other community members.
- New graduated sewing students are finding it more difficult than usual to find employment.
- HHA Cambodia’s seamstresses have not earnt good income as the organisation has not been able to order significant quantities from them, however, they are currently trying to apply for grants to make face masks to distribute to community.
Assessment: This project continues to provide valuable vocational training opportunities for members of the community, and has demonstrated an ability to continue to function in the COVID19 environment.
It was recognised that the Home Food Garden Project is a key project that has significant potential to assist the community to be self-sufficient during the COVID19 pandemic. HHA Cambodia plans to prioritise this project.
HHA Cambodia also plans to continue to ensure that financial risks are reduced when possible in all areas of program operation. They have committed to locating and applying for more grants and seeking opportunity to raise more funds.
HHA Cambodia will ensure they provide photos and success stories to HHA Inc. for fundraising purposes.
HHA Inc continues to commit to raising funds as per the 2020 Fundraising Strategy, with additional attention being given to raising maximum funds through the following upcoming events:
- Online auction
- Q&A online session with new ambassador Bruce Djite
- Christmas markets
HHA Inc also committed to continuing to apply for grants, specifically COVID19 related grants.
HHA Inc recognises the need to help HHA Cambodia to reinstate their staff salaries to the normal level next year. They are committed to staying focused and resilient on their fundraising goals.