Tiny Toones engages, inspires and educates children and young people from the slum areas of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Tiny Toones provides a unique combination of creative arts and non-formal education completely free. Thousands of children have benefited since 2005. Over 200 children attend classes every day, in dance, music, English, Khmer, math, art and computing. For many it is the only education they get. We are currently trying to raise $4,000 to continue this vital service into 2014.
Thousands of Cambodians live in abject poverty. 20,000 children are estimated to live and work on the streets. Only one in three stays in school beyond primary level. Tiny Toones' students are aged 5-24 and are particularly vulnerable to drug and substance abuse, sexual and labor exploitation, domestic violence, and gang involvement. A quarter of the children at Tiny Toones report never having attended school yet many are put to work from as young as five years old.
The Tiny Toones centre is a safe-haven for children and young people. They come to dance and they come because it's fun, it's free and they feel valued and cared for. At the centre they learn about respect, positive thinking and living a drug-free life. They become part of a community. Our dancers perform throughout Cambodia and beyond. Their achievements are an inspiration to others growing up in the slum areas. Supporting this project will help transform the lives of a new generation.
These kids visibly change: coming from the most impoverished and vulnerable backgrounds you see their confidence, motivation and self-esteem all improve beyond measure. They learn to be creative and to enjoy learning English, computing and other key skills. They learn to look out for others and what it means to be part of a community. Ultimately, Tiny Toones moves kids away from destructive paths - such as drug abuse and gang involvement - and gives them new motivation and hope for the future.