J658 Focus Cambodia
Cambodia, Southeast Asia
The Project Objective
Focus Cambodia aims to improved access to high school and higher education (university & vocational training) for teenage girls living in Kampot, a rural province of southern Cambodia.
Poverty in Kampot, like much of Cambodia, has largely resulted from high population growth, inadequate opportunities, low capabilities, insecurity, exclusion, and vulnerability. Across Cambodia, 70% of the population is estimated to live below the poverty line with women and girls the most disadvantaged demographic. When it comes to achieving self-sufficiency, girls start well behind their male counterparts with lower rates of literacy and reduced access to higher education and employment opportunities.
Why is this the case?
One of the major factors is the low rates of girl education.
This is largely due to 3 reasons:
- The preference for families to invest in boys’ education and require girls to contribute to family needs (e.g., work in factories, fulfil household chores, care for smaller children.
- Low community value for girls’ education endorsing families to prioritise opportunities for boys.
- Lack of support within schools for girls’ education (e.g., sanitation, safe transport, subject areas).
- Increase girls’ high school attendance from 57% to 74% by addressing clean water, sanitation and transport obstacles.
- Provide 6 girls per year with the opportunity to pursue higher education options in Kompot township.
- Establish excellent relationships with provincial education officials to maintain infrastructure and girl-oriented programs.
- Encourage the valuing of girl education among community and community leaders.
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