Every day Tiny Toones engages and educates 100 kids from Phnom Penh's slums. We face an urgent funding shortfall for teacher's salaries, already understaffed. We must raise $3,060 to pay our 3 existing teachers, and $2,700 for 3 new teachers. We provide a unique combo of hip hop, arts & education, reaching kids who dropped out or never went to school and risk falling into drugs, crime or lifelong poverty. While we've raised funds for rent and transport, teachers are our lifeblood and priority.
Thousands of Cambodians live in abject poverty. 20,000 children are estimated to live and work on the streets. Only one in three stays in school beyond primary level. Tiny Toones' students are aged 5-24 and are particularly vulnerable to drug and substance abuse, sexual and labor exploitation, domestic violence, and gang involvement. A quarter of the children at Tiny Toones report never having attended school yet many are put to work from as young as five years old.
The Tiny Toones centre is a safe-haven for "at risk" children. They come to dance and because it's fun, free and they feel valued and cared for. While they are at our centre we give them the classes they need to return to the full time education they have left or never had. We teach respect, positive thinking and living a drug-free life, and the kids become part of a community. Our dancers perform throughout Cambodia and beyond, inspiring the younger ones. We truly change these kids' futures.
These kids visibly change: coming from the most impoverished backgrounds we see their confidence, motivation and self-esteem improve beyond measure. Every day, 100 kids come to be creative and enjoy learning Khmer, English, computing and other key skills. They learn to look out for others and be part of a community. Ultimately, Tiny Toones moves kids away from destructive paths - such as drugs and gangs- and gives them new motivation, hope and the chance to break out of the cycle of poverty,