FH Cambodia, a Christian agency helping children and families move beyond just meeting their basic needs into fullness of life, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Rural communities in Cambodia.
How child sponsorship works here
This child sponsorship program is only a couple of years old. One of the first steps is building trust in the communities. Hierarchy is very important in Cambodian culture, and convincing local leaders to support the program has been both challenging and rewarding.
FH staff visit parents’ homes, and chat to them about setting up adults groups and child clubs for all families in the community. They also talk through concerns and issues, and continue to build trusting friendships.
FH also works with the local Village Development Committees which are already established in most Cambodian Villages. They provide training and help the group to undertake projects that will be of benefit to the whole community.
The children who come along to the child clubs love it so much that they have asked to change the meetings from one to four times a week! As these groups are new, the children have been shy. But they are getting more confident as they meet regularly, and are starting to put forward their ideas for changes in the community and getting involved in community activities.
As well as games and drawing, children are learning about basic personal hygiene like washing their hands and about eating a healthy diet. During a recent Village Environment Day, more than 1200 children plus some parents, teachers and village leaders turned up to help clean their village.
One thing that is really important to these children is that they want to go to school, especially the girls. A lot of parents don’t see education as important for girls, and they miss out.
Parents groups are being trained to run savings groups, to help them have access to loans to start small businesses or to pay for medical costs etc. These groups also focus on health, improving agricultural knowledge and leadership.
FH has been working with parents groups and leaders to encourage everyone to value education and send their kids to school, especially girls. Parents are also starting to become more involved in parent-teacher committees to improve the quality of education.