Thursday, October 1, 2009
First Hand’s latest venture is to support Goutte d’eau’s residential centre at Neak Leoung, Cambodia. Sadly a donor has withdrawn its sponsorship placing the centre in financial difficulties. The residential centre will remain open, however if they are unable to find funding they will have to cut back on vocational training at the centre. The vocational training is a huge opportunity of giving the older children a chance for the future. The classes include vehicle mechanics and repairs, hairdressing and barber training, sewing classes and computer courses. If First Hand pay for the basics of the centre such as food and rice for one full year it will free up Goutte d’eau with basic costs which will enable the centre to pursue with the classes. Cost of food for one whole year is $16,992USD. First Hand are willing to do this to enable the centre to continue with the vocational training programmes as we feel this is such a crucial programme for the older children, without a skill they will have nothing for their future.
Children attending vocational training classes come from very poor families. If the children do not receive vocational training skills, then they will have very little chance to find a job enabling them to earn enough money to live and enough money to grow and develop into an independent adult life and support their family and siblings.
They may end up working in the streets as beggars or goods and drinks sellers, which make them vulnerable to several kinds of abuse.
The provinces where they live are named Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces. They are among the poorest provinces in Cambodia. Many families move to Phnom Penh, or to Poipet then to Thailand to find some work. They take their children with them.
Sometimes teenagers leave their families because it is too poor, and they go by themselves to find some work in Phnom Penh, Poipet, and other cities in Cambodia or even cross the border from Poipet to Thailand
For all these reasons the children are at risk of several kinds of abuse: labour exploitation, unsafe migration to Thailand, street life, drug abuse, sexual work, street violence, trafficking, etc.
First Hand have committed to do this to enable the centre to continue with the vocational training programmes as we feel this is such a crucial programme for the young people. Of course we have to come up with this by fundraising.
Vocational Training skills enable children to stay in their homeland, to have a stable and safe life, in time support their families, and to run an independent adult life in the future.