Helping Hands is a community project in one of the poorest regions of Cambodia. We provide free education, health care and a healthy nutritious breakfast to 300 children. We also provide school uniforms to enable children to attend state school, as well as running a University Scholarship Programme. Helping Hands' main vision is to give a 'hand up' not a 'hand out', we strive to empower our students and their families to enable them to break out of a life of poverty.
Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and Siem Reap, where Helping Hands is based, is the second poorest province in Cambodia. Villagers live in extreme poverty, children are often malnourished, poorly educated and suffer debilitating or chronic health problems. Some children have to cycle 2 hours to get to state school - attendance and graduation rates are among the lowest in the world. By providing education in the village, Helping Hands has been changing that since 2005.
Helping Hands invests in education at all levels; providing education on-site to children aged 4-20 and University Scholarships for high school graduates. Our local employees receive training and further education, and we have provided workshops on agriculture and nutrition for the local villagers. In addition, we provide nutritious breakfasts and health and social care for our students. This holistic approach ensures our impact extends to the community as a whole and is truly long-lasting.
We often take education for granted but in Cambodia, where an entire generation of educated people were killed by the Khmer Rouge, basic education is still a luxury. In the space of ten years our villagers have seen improvements in health, educational achievement and career prospects but there is still a long way to go. The continuation of our work will lead to even better health, greater career choice, long term financial stability and a real chance of self sufficiency for more than 500 people.