‘Providing education opportunities for children in subsistence farming communities’
Youngsters engaged in subsistence farming don’t lack intelligence – just education opportunities. With this in mind Opportunities of Development thru Art (ODA) Siem Reap Cambodia provides free kindergarten, English and computer classes to empower children in surrounding rural villages to break the cycle of poverty. ODA recognises that many young people are keen to learn but often their ability to access education, particularly in rural areas, is limited.
In subsistence farming communities, education has long been viewed as an ‘unnecessary luxury’ and a distraction from the important task of children working alongside their parents to survive the inevitable droughts, floods, farming accident or health fatalities.
Founded in 2003, by local Leng Touch, in full consultation with village and commune chiefs, ODA appreciated the need to offer classes at times that allowed children access to education in conjunction with their farming work. Lengs art work sales provided the initial funding, hence the name.
Many of these communities now face the reality that their centuries old circle of life has changed and can no longer support them and their families alone without additional income. Education is critical to gain access to employment opportunities in the region. A regular salary is a lifeline to families that rely on subsistence agriculture.
Today, ODA has grown to become a registered Not For Profit NGO (Non Governmental Organisation) supporting 1500+ students across 8 village schools with free English and IT education. It also yearly supports 700 needy students with free uniforms, a mandatory requirement for them to attend government schools. ODA funds a University Support Program to ensure our teachers can continue their education with the security of their part time wage. Teacher’s at ODA encourage their students to widen their thinking beyond working the fields, to maximise their future potential with secure salaried employment.
ODA is completely funded by donation, and we need your support to continue to provide this vital opportunity for education and improved employment outcomes for marginalised children in rural villages.