DO YOU KNOW MYR5 CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN RURAL CAMBODIA
HELP SAVE CAMBODIAN SCHOOL DROPOUTS – GIVE THEM A SECOND CHANCE FOR AN EDUCATION
The fund will be used to build a vocational centre to train and provide school dropouts, particularly the youths from rural areas, the necessary technical knowledge, and skills for them to build their career either by doing small businesses or to find suitable jobs in the field they are trained for.
A study by an international organisation found out that about 20% of students at lower secondary level abandon studies to find jobs. The figure could be higher in rural areas.
Most rural Cambodian live on US$2.00 a day. Almost 4.8 million Cambodian live in poverty, and 90% of them are in rural areas. Most of them are subsistence farmers, members of fishing communities, landless people and last but not least, rural youth, who are school dropout in large numbers.
Many of these school dropouts will end up in a poor paying job or become migrant workers in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and some in Vietnam too.
There is no official figure for the actual number but unofficially it is estimated to be at least 300,000.
Migrant workers are always open to exploitation and manipulation by irresponsible employers. We enclosed a video produced by Al-Jazeera a report on migrant workers exploitation in Thailand.
HOW THE VOCATIONAL CENTRE CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
Al-I’tisam Relief Program Association has been in Cambodia working on many humanitarian relief projects since 2012. Over a period, we realised that the people of Cambodia were in urgent need of long-term programs that could develop skills, create employment and help boost their income.
To give them food aid, tube wells and new clothes during festivals are very good, but the effect is limited and short-term. What they need are community development projects that can help them to improve their community in the long term.
HERE WE ARE! IN AUGUST 2016 OUR VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE WERE BORN
Sewing and Tailoring Training Centre
We managed to set up a small sewing and tailoring centre in Kampong Speu in Kampong Thom province. We rented an old rural house and bought six units of sewing machines and hired a teacher. The vocational training began there and we are still in that old rural house until now.
The training cycle takes about 6 months to complete and each batch ten students have the opportunity to learn how to make ladies and man dresses. The good news is that, not only those graduated from our vocational training centre are able to get a job as a tailor either in the nearby town or in the capital city, but also several of our trainees have started their own small tailoring shops in their locality. This big success does not belong to our trainees only, but to Al-I’tisam too.
The most important milestone is the vocational centre project have achieved its main objective; to provide young Cambodian with the technical knowledge and skills for them to build their career either by doing small business or to find suitable jobs in the field they are trained for.
Computer Training Centre
The second vocational training we provided was Computer training centre focusing mainly on young students and government teachers in rural schools who never had exposure to computer knowledge. A representative from Trabeing Chuk village located about 200 kilometers from Phnom Penh offered us a room in one of their religious schools to start the training centre.
We provided 12 units of computer desktops and a teacher to start the classes twice a day. It was a very modest effort, but for the people in the rural areas of Cambodia the opportunity to gain computer knowledge at our computer training centre is a dream comes true.
Before, the distance between their village to the nearest training centre and the fee charged has been an obstacle for them to realise their dream.
THE PROPOSAL TO BUILD A VOCATIONAL CENTRE IN TRABEING CHUK VILLAGE, KAMPUNG THOM PROVINCE
We plan to build a vocational centre that will house all the training programs on offer under one roof
The current two programs we already have will be maintained and several more will be added and some of them are as follows;
- Sewing and tailoring programs (existing)
- Computer training (existing)
- Domestic electrical wiring
- Small scale food manufacturing business
- Bread and pastries
- Soy, tomato and chili sauce
- Hawkers food
We have purchased a piece of land measured about 3,087 square meter.
For the First Phase, we plan to build a two – storey building with a total floor area of approximately 900 square meter. There is enough land space to build another building for the next phase when the need arises.
The estimated cost to complete the First Phase in estimated to be about US$75,000.
We, however, plan to raise only about US$10,000 through this fundraising platform for the following works; to strengthen and widen about 150 meters of road to enter the project site, build a 7 meter bridge to cross a waterway, and, To raise the project site ground level by about one meter.
This is a very important project in rural Cambodia, where the people are largely poor and uneducated. They are far from development.
The opportunity to gain new skills through our vocational
centre and eventually use the skill to earn money to improve their standard of living is a big thing to them.
What it means to them is their children would be able to get better education, a more nutritious food for the family and they can also afford to get to better health services.