Many children are unable to access formal/non-formal education due to poverty, work commitments and/or distance from school. These children are street and working children or children living in more rural areas. Most of these children have no education at all in their lives, and even the few children that do go to school, they receive no life skills education, structured recreational time, or knowledge of personal health/hygiene, child protection, safety, child rights and drug awareness.
M’Lop Tapang, a local NGO, recognised this problem and started a mobile library programme to reach 10 different remote or disadvantaged locations, including evictions sites and slum communities. The mobile library team, including both social workers and teachers, provide non-formal education to children in those locations and meet with their families to offer social work support and support for reintegration into public school. Lessons include Khmer/English literacy and health/hygiene.
As the team works with both children and their families, they are able to identify the families’ problems and work together to find long-term solutions. The team reintegrates children either into public school or into its own education programme as appropriate. They also provide health education and make medical referrals to M’Lop Tapang’s clinic. Staff follow up every case and offer long term support. The team is always assessing the needs of new areas, visiting new locations if appropriate.
M'Lop Tapang Centre for Street Children
Sihanoukville's Street Children