Our data shows that most of the girls don't learn about puberty and menstruation from their mothers. CCDO initiated a puberty program for girls and boys to learn about their growing bodies. CCDO is proud of this comprehensive 6 week program which teaches puberty as well as respect, communication, anti-domestic violence, human trafficking and healthy relationships. We give sanitary kits to the girls so that they can continue going to class during their periods.
Due to the "Lost Generation" not being educated after the Khmer Rouge and Civil War period, most parents are unable to explain puberty to their children. It is important to know what is happening to your bodies when going through this awkward stage in life. Not knowing about hormone changes in the body can often lead to uncomfortable and angry feelings which are then enacted in violence and rape. There are too many incestuous stories where young girls are being raped.
By giving them the sanitary kits and a self contained toilet block they can attend school every day. They benefit from the complete puberty course which deals with additional topics such as domestic violence and healthy relationships. This gives them a sense of gender equality and makes them proud to be good students. We find that the girls are our best students in the class and more likely to continue higher education.
The dropout rate of girls in puberty is above 60%. CCDO educates 350 girls and boys in our Puberty Classes. This allows them to continue their education and pass on the knowledge to their peers which helps create the ripple effect reaching many more students. Knowledge of healthy bodies and relationship, helps the community grow and rise out of poverty.