Imagine your parents asking you to work instead of going to primary school. This is reality for many Cambodian families whose children work in the fields or at home to help the family survive, missing weeks of school and being at high risk of dropping out entirely. SeeBeyondBorders' Conditional Cash Payments programme offers a lifeline to families, providing small payments conditional on attendance and bikes to encourage attendance, to make prioritising their child's education a viable option.
During the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s education was abolished in Cambodia and 75% of teachers were killed. It is not surprising that 1 in 4 adults is now illiterate and, in the face of extreme poverty, education is hugely undervalued. Only 55% of girls and 52% of boys progress to secondary school, the rest dropping out of education to work before the age of 10. Yet, education is, of course, key to solving many challenges that Cambodians face. Our goal is to break this vicious cycle.
The Conditional Cash Payments programme works with rural schools to identify very poor families whose children have a poor track record of attending school (through work, illness or access issues). We visit the families at home to understand their challenges, and support them with cash grants, paid on condition that children attend school regularly, or provide bikes. We help them see the value of education and relieve some financial pressures so that their children are able to go to school.
This project will support 60 children in an impoverished district to go to school regularly. In a parallel project, we work with teachers to improve the quality of education in these schools, so we know that children will be engaged in high quality lessons and want to stay in school and continue learning. A good quality education will lead to brighter futures for these children, giving them a variety of opportunities to escape poverty and contribute to transforming their communities in future.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
An interview with Tov Tie, mother of a CCP student
Helping Cambodia transition to a brighter future