Project Cambodia 2015
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
August 3-17, 2015
The number of children who live in garbage dumps among the outskirts of Phnom Penh is indeed alarming for both the government and the Cambodian community. On top of living in impoverished conditions, the majority of these children does not have access to education. They are forced to pick garbage or engage in other dangerous activities in order to earn money for supporting their families. PC15 aims to cooperate with a local organization for the purpose of advocating education to the slum children through a two-week curriculum. We plan to achieve this by organizing an extracurricular activity program that will allow the children to explore their interest in subjects that are not integrated into the Cambodian educational curriculum, and enhance their interests on the subjects that already are. In summary, our goal is simple: to make the children fall in love with school and education.
The majority of the city’s population strongly believes that the slum children are bound to become delinquent due to their lack of financial and educational resources, and helping them is a lost cause. The social stigmas and misunderstandings regarding the children in the slums and outskirts of Phnom Penh are concerning, and the Cambodian population of higher socioeconomic status wants nothing to do with them. Moreover, the benefits and impacts of volunteerism are not understood by most adolescents across the nation as the majority of Cambodian parents encourages their children to focus solely on academics and dismiss any activities outside the classroom. Thus, our project also aims to help local adolescents, who live more privileged lives, understand their privileges and what they could do with those privileges to help others who are less fortunate, particularly through volunteering. In addition, we will initiate a massive public campaign regarding the issues among this particular group of children throughout Phnom Penh in order to raise funds and public awareness. We plan to do so by advertising the project via multiple social media sources and organizing a concert dedicated to the issue at large.
- Raise awareness about the slum children around the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
- Help the slum children discover an academic or personal passion
- Provide moral support and encouragement to the slum children to continue with education through extracurricular activities
- Provide a platform for the slum children to explore their talents, interests and gain the necessary confidence to integrate into society
- Raise funds for the organization
- Equip the local high school students with the necessary skills to plan and lead service-leadership projects
- Convey the importance of volunteerism
- Build a life-long nurturing relationship between mentors and the mentees
The focus of the first half of week 1 will be the members of the team. The members will be pushed to explore their leadership skills and how they work as a team through various activities. Many of the activities will highlight the effective traits of a leader and allow the local team members to discover their own strength and weaknesses as well as the type of leader they want to be.
There will also be workshops that will teach the local team members the necessary skills to carry out service projects, such as brainstorming, recruiting and fundraising, in hope that they will become future project leaders on a topic of their interests.
The two-week curriculum will include not only hands-on activities and small projects on Science, Engineering, and Mathematics but also activities concerning Humanities and Social Sciences. To paint a better picture, we will host an Egg-drop competition to spark the children’s interest in Engineering, a role-playing session as a way to explore Cambodian history. Our project will also emphasize on subjects that are not taught in schools, such as arts and theatre. We will organize a “Do What You Like” session where we will encourage the children to simply enjoy the arts of dancing, singing, acting or painting, and we will have a chance for the children to showcase their talents at the end-of-the-project show which is also a potential fundraising event. Our curriculum will be a reflection of the team members and the children’s interest.
What We Want in Our Applicants
- Be an effective advocate for your passion and interest (you need to be able to talk to children aged 9-18 about why you do what you do).
- Be invested in the project and its cause
- Be open to people from different culture and background
- Be ready to engage with local students and slum children
- Be willing to step out of their comfort zones in order to learn new things about others and themselves
- Be willing to contribute in terms of planning and raising funds for the project.
- Soungsothira Toch (Cambodian)
- Sakada Phal (Cambodian)