Projects in Cambodia
We believe that quality education and training projects are the key to addressing inequalities. We support the following projects in Cambodia that are managed by qualified local staff at Human and Hope Association.
English Language Program
This program transforms the lives of some of the poorest and most socially disadvantaged children in rural communities around Siem Reap. English skills are essential for gaining a well-paid job in the tourism sector, which provides most of the employment opportunities for locals, with over six million tourists visiting Siem Reap each year. Without knowledge of English, children are likely to follow in the footsteps of their parents who struggle to survive day-to-day as farmers, builders and rubbish collectors.
Khmer Language Program
The Khmer language program creates literacy in students, so they can reduce the alarming statistic that one in four Cambodians over the age of 15 are illiterate (UNESCO 2015).
Public schools in Cambodia tend to have up to 70 students in each class, leaving little ability for teachers to spend time on the students who need extra help. The Khmer language program supplements public school education and within a year, 94% of students in the Khmer language program are literate and able to progress at public school.
The library at Human and Hope Association is open every weekday. It is managed by a staff member who educates the students on treating the books with respect, encourages them to share resources and assists them with their reading.
Without this library, the students wouldn’t have access to new and updated information. The English and Khmer classes visit the library for 30 minutes a week to practice their reading skills under the guidance of their teachers. Approximately 150 children use the library daily.
Many children in the community where Human and Hope Association is located either have to go to work with their parents, stay at home unsupervised or work themselves. The preschool program allows these five-year-olds to be under the supervision of good community role models, meaning they are less likely to form bad habits or attitudes.
The preschool program is run every weekday for two hours. The students learn how to read and write in their native language. They play sports (concentrating on the aspect of teamwork), so arts and crafts, play with toys, learn about good habits and hygiene and spend time in the library.
Living Values was introduced in response to the difficult home lives of many students. Every Friday, students study topics such as children’s rights, hygiene and safety and learn about the values of respect, punctuality, patience and cooperation.
The curriculum includes time to take care of Human and Hope Association’s garden and cleaning the compound, ensuring the students take responsibility for their community centre.
These classes have improved the behaviour and attitudes of our students, making them into role models in their families and local communities.
Student Development Program
This program inspires students to appreciate the environment and become ethical leaders through mentoring and exploring the world around them. The students partake in monthly excursions where they learn about the nature and wildlife in Cambodia and what they can do to protect it. The teachers run mentoring and reflection sessions with each excursion, which inspires them to take care and take action to protect their beautiful environment.
The program takes a very hands-on approach to learning about the environment. Cambodia ranks poorly on the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, at 150 out of 180 countries. Illegal logging, a lack of waste systems and weak environmental governance has resulted in the depletion of natural resources, and villages clogged with garbage. By immersing the students in hands-on excursions, and encouraging them to solve issues in their community, their environmental literacy will thrive, and their community will be much better off.
Human and Hope Association’s sewing program provides women with a sustainable skill that enables them to earn income after just three months. It provides training in sewing skills to advanced level; microfinance loans to buy sewing machines, and skills to establish sustainable businesses to support the women and their families.
The program also includes life skills training on issues identified in the community such as domestic violence, child protection, goal setting, financial management, family planning and hygiene. This provides students with greater awareness and confidence to manage family life and become more involved in local community decision-making.
The women also take care of the garden, learning sustainable chemical-free farming skills. Students receive a stipend during the course to ensure their families are well-fed. Sewing program graduates are supported for six months after the program at regular follow-up workshops and surveyed as part of the program evaluation. Broadly, this program aims to reduce poverty and improve gender equity outcomes.
The community workshops at Human and Hope Association attempt to address the various social issues faced by their community members. These include:
Domestic Violence Workshops
Good Touch, Bad Touch & Child Protection Workshops
Road Safety Workshops
The Family Farm program encourages families to improve their standard of living. They are provided with training, knowledge and resources for farming so they are able to grow chemical-free food for their own use and to sell.
The training is conducted weekly over the course of a month and each lesson includes theory and practice. After training is complete, outreach is conducted with the students for a year to ensure they apply what they have learned in the program and also to assist them with their farming practices.
The lessons include compost making, growing various types of vegetables, financial management and other life skills topics.
The community outreach program involves Human and Hope Association's staff visiting the most vulnerable families in the community on a regular basis to offer support and advice for the issues they are facing.
Through this program, the staff also promote the benefits of education to the community and encourage parents to prioritise education over child labour. The team track the progress of the beneficiaries through this outreach and the outcomes of Human and Hope Association's programs, enabling them to improve the way they can offer assistance to the community.
This program ties together all of Human and Hope Association's programs, as they take monitoring, evaluation and follow-up support very seriously.
Approximately half of the students at Human and Hope Association are too poor to afford study resources. This makes their learning experience ineffective and can result in embarrassment amongst their peers. Additionally, they are more likely to stop studying at Human and Hope Association if they don’t have access to study materials, which also increases their likelihood of dropping out of public school. The scholarship program at Human and Hope Association is for those students deemed in the ‘Poor Level 1 – 3’ category.
Each student receives a shoulder bag made by sewing graduates that is made from rice bags and second-hand fabric. They also receive a textbook, pencil sharpener and eraser every term, along with a pen and pencil every month and a notebook every two months. By providing students with scholarships, and ensuring they are around positive role models, their chances of remaining in education are substantially increased.