Community development is a core part of our holistic approach. We work with communities marked by extreme poverty and insecurity. The families of many of our students moved from Cambodia’s rural provinces to the capital city of Phnom Penh in search of a better life. Without a strong network or the skills needed to succeed in an urban environment, what they found instead was a life of vulnerability.
Many families survive on less than $2.50 a day, and most cannot even rely on this. They live in rented rooms and are often subject to arbitrary land grabs and evictions. This daily stress leads many to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as gambling and substance abuse. These are the conditions that many of our students go home to at the end of their school day.
We believe that a quality education and a stable and loving home life mutually support each other, and one struggles to survive without the other. We work closely with the community and village leaders to make sure our Education Centres do not exist in a vacuum but serve to foster community development. Our goal is to create a good foundation for the children in our programmes and opportunities for their families, so that they have the skills to change their own lives for the better.