“Opening Doors to a Bright Future” is the Soroptimist International (SI) President’s Appeal, 2021-2023.
With plans to establish Appeal projects in each of the five Soroptimist Federations, we are excited to announce the first project “Education and Learning in Cambodia throughout the life course” taking place within the Federation of the South-West Pacific, in the South East Asia Nation of Cambodia, and partnering with the Cambodian Community Dream Organization (CCDO).
Founded in 2007 by Jenni Lipa, with the goal of providing access to clean water in rural villages around Siem Reap in the North West of Cambodia, CCDO understands the importance of facilitating access to clean drinking water, good nutrition and health, and quality education, fundamental foundations for an equal, sustainable future.
Today, 65% of the Cambodian population is under 25 years of age and face many challenges. With poverty and economic insecurity widely evident, families living in rural areas often earn less than $2 per day. CCDO actively works with communities, encouraging and enabling active participation in the development and maintenance of projects, ensuring ownership and sustainability going forward.
The Appeal is to fund CCDO $48,462 USD to educate disadvantaged and marginalised girls aged between 10 and 15 years of age in the Siem Reap communities in Cambodia. The girls are out of school for a number of reasons – some help at home with siblings, cooking meals, or working in the fields or on construction sites. The Appeal project will give extensive support to the girls to allow them to return to schooling, enabling them to catch up on missed education and progress to middle or higher education, and obtain better work and future opportunities.
The project will additionally support newly widowed women and female-headed households, training them in various skills to improve self-confidence and self-esteem, whilst facilitating access to information, resources, and the services they need to make positive life choices. Training will be provided to help the women become financially independent, and become role models for others, better equipped to pass on their knowledge and experiences to benefit their families, and the broader community.
A dedicated project team will work with women and girls from the three districts: Prasat Bakong, Angkor Thom, and Banteay Srei. Determining a baseline at the start of the project, the team will liaise directly with local partners including the Chief of the Women’s Council for Women and Children (CWCWC) to ensure sustainability during and following the phase-out of the Appeal project after two years. Our partner CCDO will monitor the project, continuing evaluation annually following completion, updating Soroptimist International on progress and impact.
The project has four primary objectives:
• To provide education to women and girls in a safe, friendly, and stimulating environment, where there is equality of opportunity and support for all.
• To empower women and girls to develop self-confidence, self-esteem and to feel valued through mentoring programmes.
• To enable women to access information, and the educational resources and services needed to make positive life choices.
• To break down barriers to learning and participation for women to encourage equal participation, equipping women and girls with the knowledge to pass on experience to families, and the broader community.
Planning and preparations for the first phase of “Education and Learning in Cambodia throughout the life course” is currently underway, including the selection process, and we look forward to providing you with regular updates on the delivery of the project, and the experiences of the women and girls involved.
To get involved with the President’s Appeal please visit our Trello Board and share our resources widely.