This project is a holistic program offering support to 300 young women between the ages of 12 and 17 to attend school and grow in confidence. It assists the girls to avoid leaving school to earn an income to support their families. The girls all come from four poor schools in urban slum areas around Phnom Penh. Based out of a community centre, and involving the schools, the program runs a number of activities for the girls, including English and computer classes, life skills and career development workshops, craft activities, cultural outings and girls’ clubs. All of this also creates an environment where the girls can offer each other support and also be mentored by our implementing partners.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
This program works with local schools and families to ensure that young girls are able to stay in school. Our partner has researched and worked with these girls and learnt that the greatest risk factor for trafficking and illegal jobs is dropping out of school. By keeping the girls in school our partner is strengthening their ability to get a decent, legal, job which can contribute to supporting the family.
The budget covers the costs of running workshops, classes, girls’ clubs and cultural activities, as well as craft supplies and the rent of the community centre. It also supports the program coordinator, but does not cover the cost of additional staff who undertake the liaison and outreach at the schools – this cost is borne by our implementing partners.
When a family is living in poverty, anyone who can earn a living, legal or not, is expected to do so. The pressure is worse for girls, as a family is more likely to remove a girl from school. Phnom Penh has a number of urban slum areas where families are only just getting by, surviving as day labourers or unable to find work at all.