This project aims to support a leadership academy where slum-living young adults can be encouraged to understand their calling in life, find ways of serving the community around them, and develop into leaders of tomorrow. These young adults have all come from earlier programs with our partner which supported them through their schooling – no mean feat for slum-living children. Now the next step is to help them serve back in their communities, and mentor other children like themselves, completing the circle. Entrust support will assist in the running of two leadership academy homes where 18 young adults will live while completing university. Another 12 will participate in the activities of the homes without living in them.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
This program is more than supporting poor children to complete a University degree (in fact our project does not include the costs of attending university). It builds leadership skills in a generation of children who have never seen themselves as being leaders. It also teaches them not only to serve others, but teaches them the joy of serving through using the skills, abilities and ideas they have within them. These 30 young adults have the capacity to go on to radically transform their society, and this is just the initial cohort.
The budget (of USD11,250) covers nutritional support for the young adults, communications costs for the homes, some staff costs and the cost of utilities.
Cambodia is still recovering from the Pol Pot regime. Over 50% of the population is under 24 years old, and family structures have been extremely damaged. Poverty further eradicates family support with many adults working away from home, leaving children to be raised by grandparents who are themselves busy trying to earn enough to feed the family. Children living in the slums are not supported to attend school, or encouraged to dream of a better future. Alcoholism, drug use and gambling addiction further remove what little adult input children could expect.