Kampot, Kampong Speu, Kandal, Kratie, Pailin, Phnom Penh, Pursat, Siem Reap Provinces, CAMBODIA
“In Cambodia, less than 10% of children with disabilities have access to any form of education.”
Many years of war and upheaval have led to the breakdown of many social services and the destruction of national infrastructure. Widespread poverty, a lack of basic health services and food insecurity, have left the country with a large number of vulnerable groups, of which people with disabilities are the most deeply affected.
Over the last decade, Cambodia has made good economic progress, with more opportunities for its people, but nonetheless inequality, poverty and inadequate and insufficient services for its most vulnerable people persist.
The same can be said about the education system. Despite some positive progress over the last decade in making the system more equitable and improving the quality of teaching and learning, many challenges persist to ensuring every single child in Cambodia sees its fundamental right to an education fulfilled. Children with disabilities still largely miss out. Less than 10% of them have access to any form of education. (UNESCAP, 2002).
The main barriers to equal access to education for children with disabilities include:
- a lack of support for going to school by parents and the community as they see no value in educating children with disabilities
- discrimination from teachers, principals, and other children
- teachers are not trained and supported in adapting lessons to the needs of children with disabilities and provide them with a quality education
- no adapted teaching methods and communication techniques to suit deaf and blind children in particular
- inaccessibility of school facilities
- poverty, with the need for parents to look after a child with special needs further compromising their ability to earn an income
- distance from home to school
- lack of accessible means of transports
Our answer to these issues is based on 4 cornerstones:
Strengthening the SYSTEM
and INFLUENCING for policy and behavior change.
Our overall goal is for children with disabilities and other vulnerable children to have the same right to education, health services and social integration with their non-disabled peers in regular school with the necessary modifications so they become successful and productive members of society.
Our main activities include:
- Providing access to relevant, quality education for 2300 children with disabilities while mainstreaming education for children with special needs.
- Providing home-based rehabilitation: stimulating activities, referrals, basic skills training to family members on how to care for a child with disabilities.
- Reducing discrimination and improving social inclusion by the local community and 350 teachers through capacity building and, awareness raising.
- Promoting the effective implementation of laws, policies and changing people’s behavior with regards to people with disabilities.
- Teach students with and without disabilities to learn to get along with each other.
- Increasing the income of families of the most vulnerable disabled children through income generation activities (animal raising, vegetables growing and other small businesses)