Our program target girls aged 14 - 20 who have faced tremendous hardships and have the urgent need to earn income. In addition to supporting them to attend school on a daily basis, we complement their learning with training in a skill that they can use to earn income upon completion. In our 6 month program, we offer girls the chance to learn either Dressmaking or Beauty Salon training. Our aim is to give them the best shot at life with an income earning skill before they leave school for good.
In Cambodia there has always been a preference on supporting boys over girls. If the family is struggling, it is the norm for the family to support the boy in school over a girl. Usually the girl will be the one who is forced to stop school at a young age to help support the family while the boy continues. Lack of education severely limits her chances of self reliance at an older age and is often forced to rely on a husband. This leaves her completely dependent on a man to survive in life.
Our program will give 60 girls aged 14-20 specialized incentive to go to school and learn an income generating skill. Upon completion they have, as a minimum, basic math and literacy skills backed with a vocational skill that they can use to generate income for the rest of their lives. We also work individually with each girl and address their particular needs such as providing food or other support for the girls family so they will agree to her training and school.
Providing literacy, education and life skills to girls of this age gives them the best chances of living a life free of poverty. Their chances of finding employment or starting their own small business are greatly increased. This knowledge allows a girl to postpone marriage and children until SHE decides she is ready. In addition by educating the girl you are educating all her children as she will pass any knowledge to her children thus breaking the cycle of poverty.
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CNN Heroes article on PIO founder, Phymean Noun