Our aim at Salariin Kampuchea has always been to provide a safe and social environment in which young Cambodians can gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to work their way out of poverty. Now, money raised with Global Giving is enhancing our social education programme in a way that cannot be underestimated.
In Cambodia today there are many issues which arise from negative gender and family relationships. Endemic problems such as domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, and prostitution stem from a lack of education and understanding when it comes to social and domestic relationships. Last month saw us taking the first step in providing our students with a comprehensive sexual education programme which will empower them to make informed choices and foster positive relationships.
In August we used the funds raised through Global Giving to stage the first KAROL & SETHA workshop with our students. Knowledge And Reflection On Life & Sexuality Through a Holistic Approach is an educational program about sexuality and relationships aimed at adolescents, young adults, couples/parents, and those serving them. The programme promotes the communication of a person’s feelings and needs, whilst understanding those of others. The belief is that this approach will encourage positive and respectful relationships in all spheres of a person’s life.
The week-long workshop involved 30 students from our schools. In the classes topics covered included: identity (who am I?), listening and expressing feelings, different levels of love, anatomy of the reproductive system, perceptions that boys/girls have of the other gender, gestures of love and sexual intercourse, risks linked with sexuality, and analysis of popular beliefs regarding sexuality in Cambodia.
The 5-day course was held in a local public school, due to a lack of space in our own facilities. Representatives from Karol &Setha ran the workshop with students. SK staff members helped with practicalities such as transport and food, but they were not present during classes so that students felt free to speak and participate without the judgement of teachers and authority figures.
The workshop was a big success and was received well by students, many of whom had very positive things to say about it afterwards. Life Skills student Deu Put said, “At the K&S workshop for 5 days, I learned a lot from lessons and a lot which will help me in life, such as communication between men and women, friends, relatives and parents etc. I now more clearly understand myself, and others. I can control my desires and decisions. All the lessons I learnt, I think they are important to me and I will bring these lessons to use in my daily life, and help others who meet problems from lessons I have learnt.”
Student Chock Kim Oun described one of the classes that took place, “On the second day we learned about body and mind. We thought about the effects of what we say and do on the people around us, and how other people’s actions and words can make us feel. We also learned about the male and female reproductive systems. The lesson made me think more about the things I say and do to the people I care about, and I feel like it will change my life.”
Next month, a follow-up workshop will take place. Students will be asked to consider their learning and its effect on their lives so far, and in the future.
This project is a small step in educating young Cambodians in creating stable, equal and loving relationships within their lives. We are extremely proud to have provided this to some of our students, and we have all of your generous donations via Global Giving to thank for that.
Now, we look to the future. It is our aim to raise further funds in order to hold similar workshops and reach more of our students in the coming year. With the help of our partners at Global Giving, Karol &Setha, and you, we hope to keep building on this and moving forward with our personal and social education programme.
The Salariin Kampuchea Team
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