Street to School - Supporting the Children of Andong Slum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Project location: Cambodia, Phnom Penh
Project start date: December 2012 - Project end date: November 2014
Project number: 2012-026
Beneficiary: Centro Italiano Aiuti all’Infanzia

TIMELINE OF THIS FINAL REPORT:March 2014 – December 2014

The present project aimed to empower  children living in the slum of Andong, Phonm Penh, to act as rights holders, assuring the development of their personality, talents, mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.  Thanks to the contribution of    Nando Peretti Foundation the following activities have been implemented ( during the period March- December 2014):

Kindergarten: 50 children (3-5 years old) are attending the Kindergarten reason for which a second Kindergarten teacher is needed. The teachers are in charge of not only delivering educational knowledge but also in charge of feeding and washing the children inside the centre's facilities. Breakfast is provided to all Kindergarten children to assure that the nutritional needs of the children are met (at least one balanced meal per day). In the afternoon children are provided with snacks (normally fruit). Hygiene education and support is provided by the Nurse working at the centre. Teachers  all  obtained a degree in pre-school education released by the only organization in the country which works in preparing pre-school teachers.

Support classes and recreational activities: 187 children aged 6-14 are attending the centre and following support classes in Khmer and Math and recreational activities such as theatre, dance and drawing.  While support classes are organized by age and class attended in the public school, recreational activities are organized in order to have all children attend a recreational activity which is fit to their desires and inclinations. Within the centre they receive hygiene education  and care  with the support of the nurse working in it. During the period of the this report 99 children have received treatment at the centre (small wounds, cuts etc), 38 children were referred at the health centre, 13 children were referred at the pediatric hospital. 179 children have received dental care.

The expected achievement of the project “150 children are not in the street, but in a safe and controlled environment where they can develop and grow” and “150 children have access to proper education services” are  already being accomplished with reference to an even larger number of beneficiaries. The centre has welcomed 182 children in the months covered by the report who had access to all the educational and recreational services in the centre. As said previously the centre is the only available service for children aged 3 to 6 years old. Even though the situation has been improving in the slum much remains to be done and CIAI will go on supporting the children and families in the community. The situation at today is still very precarious for 517 families who live in mud shelters without access to electricity, water and sanitation facilities. The government whose plan was to have all families in proper houses by 2014, has started the construction of new houses only last summer, which is resulting in spaces of 4*5 m per household (households are formed by 4-7 persons including children). For this reason the villagers are already resisting to move and with the support of organizations working in the area are trying to negotiate better lodging conditions. CIAI is continuing to provide support to all the families of the centre through networking with all the organizations working on lodging and credit support, referring the families and helping them with the necessary documents and information.
Indicators that show the achievement of the outputs are the following: Children have greater will to improve their learning:  All children attend regularly the centre and have the support of their parents in doing so. No child has stopped coming to the centre and three meetings have been organized with parents of children by CIAI in the premises of the centers. Topics of discussions have been the need for the families to be more involved in the activities of the centre and steps have been taken to understand what the contribution of each family can be. Parents report great appreciation for the activities of the centre and will to collaborate to  its activities. The last follow-up of the socio-economical conditions of the families (August 2014) shows that the families whose children attend the centre are still facing many problems. 85% of the families live with less than 1,25 USD per day per person of the household (which is the poverty line in Cambodia) and 15% can count on 1,5-3.00 USD per day per person of the household. For this reason CIAI is not yet implementing any exit strategy from the area as long as the beneficiaries are not enabled to take over the activities of the centre. While the sustainability strategy still remains to hand over the centre to the community, the conditions for this achievement are not yet met. Less children aged between 10 and 14 years old abandon school: none of the children attending the centre has abandoned school and no out of school children have been identified during these months (family situation is updated at least twice per year by the social workers). However the school year  2014-2015 was postponed by the government by the end of November and special follow up is needed to assure that school aged children enroll and attend classes.
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