We provide daycare and family support to twelve at-risk families living near Phnom Penh's notorious Dangkor landfill. While the children are provided with a safe and stimulating environment, the parents follow a family action plan designed to empower them to break out of the poverty cycle. Continuing this line, we would like to offer the parents one year of vocational training, so that they can walk along with more experienced workers, learn important skills, and be surrounded by role models.
Around Dangkor landfill, many third-generation waste pickers were born trapped in a poverty cycle, with uneducated parents, high debts and little income. This cycle is bound to continue, as families use every possible resource to bring in fast money. Children don't go to school and are brought along to work in a very dangerous workplace. Although the young parents show great potential, a lack of employable skills, hope and confidence prevents them from holding on to better jobs.
While their children are safe in our daycare, the parents will gain the skills and experience needed to break out of the poverty cycle. Through a one-year vocational training program, they learn important (employable) skills like reading and writing, cooking, agriculture, money management and guarding while receiving compensation, healthy meals and regular training sessions. By the end of the year the parents are more likely to get a job with a steady income that sustains their family.
At the end of the year the parents will have a letter of reference and many new skills. They will be able to apply for a job that sustains their family and provides a steady income, making them role models in their villages. They will have a chance to break out of the poverty cycle, and their children will be more likely to stay out of it. If they show great progress, they might even grow into a permanent position at COLT and extend their exemplary role in the community.