Poverty is the most disruptive factor for girls’ education in Cambodia. Women in poorer provinces often face increased difficulty pursuing education. Besides needing to leave school to work for money, the distance from school is also a big challenge and prevents many girls from getting to school and having the chance of a better life. Many Cambodian girls face this problem; according to the World Bank, 79% of the Cambodian population lived in rural areas in 2018.
The Helpcode Cambodia Pink Bicycle Activity has identified a group of girls in need of critical support in the way of a Bicycle to be able to engage with an education in a consistent way.
The Helpcode Project Team have worked closely with School Directors, Village Leaders and Community Women’s Groups to identify recipient female students of a Bicycle based on the national Poverty ID scale and in line with community and school representative agreement. Girls were identified from 40 villages in the provinces of Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kandal and the informal settlements on the outskirts of Phnom Penh to receive a Bicycle and Bicycle safety and security equipment.
In celebration of World Bicycle Day held every year on June 03, 2022 Helpcode Cambodia delivered Bicycles in June 2022 to girls identified as being in need. These girls are now on their way to the best chance of an equal opportunity to a quality education. All the girls and their families were very happy to receive their Bicycles and very grateful to have this support. This support will assist the girls who have received a Bicycle so far continue to get to school and engage with an education and importantly be able to do this safely every day.
As with all country programs of work projects have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic with schools closed since February 20, 2021 and government residential zonal lockdowns in place in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Kandal along with restrictions on public gatherings and regional travel. Schools reopened across the country on November 15, 2021 and then closed again on December 18, 2021, reopening on Jan 03, 2022.
This 11-month disruption has placed significant stress on schools since they have reopened to try and catch up on the educational opportunities lost for many students during this time. The Helpcode team has worked hard on maintaining a positive relationship with School Directors and Staff and the MOEYS during this time to enable continued opportunity within schools and very demanding school programs for the implementation of the Helpcode portfolio of programs.
To ensure the safe implementation of the Pink Bicycle Project moving forward Helpcode Cambodia has continued to implement a COVID-19 School Re Engagement Protocol. This policy document continues to provide clear and actionable guidance for safe operations by and for Helpcode staff in the prevention, early detection and control of COVID-19 when operating in schools and other educational facilities.
The Helpcode Cambodia “Pink Bicycle” Project, with your help, will continue the important work under this initiative!