This is a YouthSpark eligible program for 100% donor match on December 2, Giving Tuesday!
The Youthspark Match will be 100% of your donation until matching funds run out to a max of $500 per donor per project.
Jobs for Cambodian Youth , was started in 2013 as way to assist our growing roster of college students from “disadvantaged backgrounds”. The phrase “ disadvantaged backgrounds” is quite the understatement. Unlike the US, where the term “ disadvantaged” may mean lower income ( with US government subsidies for a range of services including rent, medical,student loans etc), in Cambodia, “ disadvantaged” means that the family has little or no money, that each dollar may mean the difference between eating and not eating that day. It means that parents in rural areas , while perhaps able to provide food from home grown gardens, have zero dollars to contribute to their childrens college expenses. Zero dollars means that kids hitch hike to the city and the only funds they will have for food and lodging will be those they can earn. Wages are low in city jobs: construction jobs can pay $ 3 to $ 5 per day for full time workers. Higher wage jobs like " bar boy or bar girl" are shortcuts to prostitution.
These challenges provided the motivation for the Jobs for Cambodian Youth. In our culture, it is common for students to have jobs to pay for incidentals and living expenses. Our Jobs for Cambodian youth is modeled on this ideal.
The project has continued to grow has and for the past year grown to provide a job track for 13 teens and young adults, age 24 and under. The backgrounds of our youthful workers have been diverse , ranging from graduate from our previous dance program, a new college graduate who was a member of one of our programs for more than 10 years, 5 college students from rural Prey Veng Province, one college student from our AIDS Patient Family Support program,
This program has evolved into an essential building block for our college students, who without the modest income and housing assistance it provides, would not be able to continue their studies. In addition to these practical benefits, it provides an essential “ real world” look at how organizations are build, staffing is managed and challenges are met. Additionally, we are providing real jobs for young adults where few opportunities with “ professional potential” exist.
Jobs include doing various administrative tasks and the majority of the maintenance work at Champey. They fill in as needed and some also serve as part time apprentice “ practice” dancers assisting our teachers , and are a critical part of our at the Summer Arts Camp and Champey’s growth into a year round program for dozens of local youth. These young people are eager and able to serve by augmenting staff resources, as well as being companion and roll model to the campers and students.
We are deeply grateful for your continued support, for the pay from these modest jobs are essential to the ability of our students and young adults to buy food and support themselves.