Mondulkiri province is situated in the north-eastern highlands of Cambodia, close to the Vietnamese border. It is home to a large population of indigenous groups, primarily the Bunong people. With cultural and livelihood connections to the forest, they remain among the most impoverished in the nation. Our partner has worked in Cambodia since 1998, empowering the poorest of the poor to become agents of change within their communities. This pilot project aims to enhance the quality of primary education, strengthen community involvement and improve the learning environment for Bunong ethnic children living along the wildlife conservation area in Mondulkiri. This includes provision of upgraded water and sanitation facilities, learning materials as well as engagement with community and women’s groups to promote safety and well-being of children.
What we like about it:
Preliminary results from early stages of the project show 24% increase in enrolments and significant improvement in retention rates and academic performance. Requests from education officials have been made to scale up the project as funding becomes available.
Our partner takes a holistic approach, working at the community level to not only strengthen infrastructure and learning environment but also to build relational investment by empowering and activating community groups. This way the broader community takes an interest in the educational welfare of children and positive social changes can be sustained for the long-term.
Budget: $15,000 for one year.
The Bunong are amongst the poorest people in Cambodia, marginalised by decades of war and displacement, with forest and biodiversity losses exacerbating this poverty.Mondulkiri, identified by the Cambodian Government as a priority province for education development, bears a higher than national average school drop-out rate and lower than national average completion rate. One in four men and one in three women have never been to school.