Sunshine Cambodia (SC) was working with 300 children (Male: 149, Female: 151) from 200 families from 4 poor communities in Phnom Penh.
Through this project 300 children have been able to exercise their rights to education, protection, health care and general well-being.The children are supported to attend formal education in both state and private schools, received school materials and extra tuition for English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Khmer and Computer skills. It is a common for poor students in Cambodia to be unable to afford this. SC uses a community-based approach and there is a weekly children’s club and a quarterly youth club in each of the four project areas (Sansom Kosal, Stung Mean Chey, Thnoat Chrum and Prey Tea). At the clubs, the children learn about Christianity and various topics relevant to their lives, and also do creative activities such as arts, crafts and music. They also take part in special clean up days in their communities.
SC also works with the 200 families of the children (approximately 1,042 family members) to build parental responsibility and self-reliance. SC’s programs include a Case Management and Visitation, Counseling, Food subsidy, Parenting Skills Training (Mother and Father Clubs), Vocational Training & Job Placement, Micro- Enterprise and Development and Start-up Capital, as well as Emergency and Disaster Relief programs. In the Parents’ Clubs, they learn parenting skills, child rights, health care, economic empowerment, etc.
Here is a story of a youth from Sunshine Cambodia programm.
Kunthea, 15, shyly shares her dream to be a brilliant accountant. But as she recalls her past, the tears flow as she remembers not being able to join kindergartners in their smart school uniforms because her family was too poor to send her to school. Her father was an alcoholic and then her mother died from a long term illness.
When Sunshine Cambodia’s program was introduced to her village, Kunthea joined the children’s club and found a level of love and care which she had never experienced before in her family. “I have made more friends and I have great teachers who love, encourage and guide me,” says Kunthea. “The Sunshine staff have encouraged me to have a dream for the future. But if I can’t be an accountant, then I’ll open a hairdressing salon.”
Kunthea says Mr Deth, SC’s Children Development Facilitator, always encourages her to study hard so that she can achieve her dreams. His support means a lot to her as her own family, including two older siblings, have not been positive role models for her.
Here is another story of a family from Sunshine Cambodia programm.
Preytea Village is an industrial area close to Phnom Penh International Airport where different types of work are available. Many people come here from the provinces looking for a better life.
Srorn is a 45 year old spinster from Prey Veng province. In 2006 she came to Phnom Penh with a few of her neighbours, looking for work in a garment factory. Her living situation at that time was very difficult because the rented room they shared was very cramped and she didn’t have enough food, leading to poor health. Three years later, she adopted a 3 year old boy, Chhay Li, and eventually stopped working at the factory because she didn’t have enough time to care for him when she was working.
‘’At that time, I borrowed money from a Microfinance institute to buy a sewing machine. I walked from house to house to collect clothes for sewing. Even though I was paid for my sewing services, life was more difficult but I was still happy to live with my adopted son‘’.
After Chhay Li was accepted into the SC program in July 2014, their lives improved a great deal.
‘’I feel very happy now because Sunshine has helped us a lot with school uniforms, study materials, food subsidy, English lessons and many other things. I have also learned general knowledge and parenting skills through Parents’ Days and how to run a small business. I even got start-up capital from Sunshine to improve my business. I used it to buy more cloth to make clothes to sell. Now I have three sewing machines in my business and I also rent one machine to my neighbor. More than this, I have a plan to save more money to buy a clothes shop. Finally, I really want to say thank you very much for Sunshine’s support to my family.
Sunshine is now supporting the education of 300 children, from 200 families – 1,000+ direct beneficiaries.
Here is a story of a boy in the programme:
Panya is a gentle 9 year old boy who has been with Sunshine Cambodia for 5 years, along with his 7 year old sister, Nita. Their father drives a remorque (a trailer pulled by a motorbike) and their mother works as a cleaner for a microfinance organization. But even though they have work, they barely earn enough to get by.
Panya, which means ‘wisdom’, is now in Grade 4 and with Sunshine’s support has received school supplies, uniforms, help with paying “informal” school fees, and a food subsidy. He has many friends and enjoys attending Sunshine’s children’s club where he’s learnt lots of useful things but what he remembers most are the lessons on child rights and child abuse, and playing on the computers.
“I know that when people hurt me or other children, it is the child abuse and it is against our rights and we will look for help from others,” he said.
Even though he is one of the top 5 students in his class at public school, he enjoys learning English at a privately-run school even more.
“I prefer studying English at the private school because at the public school, the teacher does not explain the lesson much and there are too many noisy students in the class!”
Over the years, he has seen many improvements in his family’s life. They now have enough food to eat and his father has bought a better motorbike for work. They can sleep on a mattress instead of a straw mat and they have nicer clothes to wear. His parents have a better relationship and the whole family practices better hygiene!
For Panha though, his education is the most important thing for his future.
“My dream is to be a doctor so that I can help people and make enough money to live on. And if this dream doesn’t come true, I have another dream of working in a bank because bank workers can work in air-conditioning and dress well all the time. I don’t want to work under the heat of the sun! Banks can also help people improve their finances.
Thank you very much for supporting me through Sunshine!”
Sunshine Cambodia (SC), in July 2014, was working with 282 children (Male: 139, Female: 143) from 185 families from poor communities in Phnom Penh: Sansom Kosal, Stung Mean Chey, Thnoat Chrum and Prey Tea. Over the year, 32 stopped coming as families moved to the province (21 cases) or obtained jobs for older children (11 cases). So as at June 2015, 250 children remained in the program.
Each child received a public education and outstanding students also attended private classes. SC uses a community-based approach and there is a children’s club in each of the four main project areas.
The clubs give the children the opportunity to play sport (soccer & kickboxing) and learn music and other life skills.
SC also works with the 185 families of the children (a total of around 1005 family members) to build parental responsibility and self-reliance. SC’s programs include a Food subsidy, Parenting Skills Training, Vocational Training & Job Placement, Small Business Development and Start-up Capital, Savings Groups, as well as Emergency and Disaster Relief programs.
ONE STORY OF A BOY:
HOW SPONSORSHIP CHANGES THE LIFE OF A FATHERLESS BOY …
When he was just 8 years old, Reaksa’s father died. Reaksa became addicted to online games which made his mother angry with him most of the time, and he got poor study results.
Reaksa’s mother sold vegetables in the market and worked hard to support the family but sometimes she could not pay for rent or food. Reaksa felt hopeless and unhappy and so he spent a lot of time with his friends and playing games. He didn’t attend school regularly.
In 2008, Reaksa was accepted into SC’s Child Development Project. SC’s support covered school fees, food subsidy, uniforms, stationery and other school materials. Now he is 13 and in grade 6 at Sansom Kosal Primary School, and goes to school regularly. He is a good son too. Life for Reaksa and his family has improved a lot since receiving support from SC. His mother has moved her small business to another area and is getting better every day. His studies are also improving.
Reaksa : “Now I study very hard because I want to be a good student and make my mother happy. I also help her in my free time. I used to be a very bad boy, making my mother sad and unhappy, but now I am very different !”
ONE STORY OF A YOUTH:
Like so many Sunshine children, Chenda’s parents were rural migrants, arriving in Phnom Penh in 2005, seeking a better life. However, they found themselves struggling to meet even the most basic needs of food and education for their two young children. Without Sunshine’s assistance, Chenda’s life could have been very different. Children like her in slum communities are at risk of sexual abuse, drug use (especially glue sniffing), violence, child labour and human trafficking.
Once in the Sunshine program, Chenda thrived. She proved a bright, able student and a hard worker. In the past 10 years she completed her primary and secondary education and has just finished the first year of a sociology degree. However, her studies will now be postponed due to the increasing pressure to support her family. This is a common situation in Cambodia where there are virtually no safety nets. Her mother will soon stop working due to ill health and her father makes very little as a motorcycle taxi driver. A relative has given Chenda the opportunity to start a small business selling car tires. If the business succeeds, Chenda will be able to buy a small home for her ageing parents in the outskirts of Phnom Penh. If they can help look after the business, this will give her time to complete her degree sometime in the future. Chenda has thought and prayed a lot about this decision to put her dream of a university education on hold. However, she feels that providing for her family is the right thing to do and Sunshine staff, both past and present, support her decision.
“Because I am from a poor family and was supported by Sunshine, I wanted to become a Social Worker and help others like me. However, I have to stop my studies for now as I need to help my family. I hope that someday in the future I can finish my degree. May God bless all those who have blessed me and so many other Sunshine children.”
ONE PARENT’S STORY: THE SMILES OF A FAMILY OF RUBBISH COLLECTORS
In Thnout Chhrum, a slum community in Phnom Penh where many migrant people struggle to make a living, lives Rin, 33, and her husband. They are rubbish collectors. Eleven years ago they left their home in the countryside to look for work but they could not find any job because of their lack of education. Their family of five lives in a small rented room. The family has faced many challenges over the years and they could not send their kids to school or to hospital when they were sick.
“Dirty Girl, you should be in school!” the villagers would taunt. Channa, known as Dirty Girl, would tag along with her parents as they collected rubbish for recycling. In 2013, Rin’s family was found by SC staff and Channa is now in grade 3 at the Jesus School. Rin has been equipped through Parents Day Trainings and has learnt parenting skills, Micro-Enterprise Development (MED), communications, money management, setting goals, and other life skills.
They now have a Tuk Tuk which helps them to make more income.
RIN :“Through Sunshine’s support,my daughter can go to school like other kids. She studies both Khmer and English and learns other useful skills in the Children Club. I am also grateful to have learnt many good lessons during Parent’s Days. Thank you for supporting my family. My burdens are reduced and my family is much better now” .
These achievements would not have happened without your support. Thank you very much for your generosity which has enabled more and more struggling families to stand own their own two feet. Many others are waiting for our support. Please continue on this journey with us. We welcome more partners and can guarantee that we will use your resources with great stewardship to be effective and accountable in every way.
Please enjoy reading our updated report.
May God bless you and continue to use you to bless others.
With my warmest regards,
Mr. Channy NOP,
Director of Sunshine Cambodia