What We Do | Regions We Serve
Our Work in Cambodia
Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, bordering Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. It has an estimated population of around 16 million people. According to World Bank, 75 percent of that population lives in rural areas which are lacking access to running water, sanitation, education, and health care. The capital, Phnom Penh, is one of the most populated cities in the Asia Pacific region.
Approximately 90 percent of Cambodia’s impoverished population lives in rural areas, where the primary industry is agriculture. However, agriculture alone can’t sustain everyone. Many families resort to child labor, human trafficking, and sex labor as a means of survival. Most children are illiterate and work low-income jobs such as construction, farming, or fishing to help support their family’s income. Young adults often fall into a vicious cycle of alcohol/drug abuse and don’t have the time or resources to obtain the necessary education for more lucrative work.
In response to recent school shutdowns due to the pandemic, the Ministry’s Education Quality Assurance Department (EQAD) assessed more than 6,000 students in 230 schools across Cambodia and found that children had fallen behind in their learning during the pandemic. Compared to the last equivalent Learning Assessment in 2016, the percentage of students who failed to demonstrate basic proficiency increased from 34% to 45% in the Khmer language and from 49% to 74% in Mathematics.
We provide free preschool and after-school classes, vocational training, foster care, and other social services to impoverished children and youths in Kandal Province, Cambodia. Kandal Province surrounds the capital Phnom Penh. The province is also a part of the greater Phnom Penh Metropolitan Area with more than a million people living in the area. MAPC supports the children and families in three villages, Prek BongKong, Prek Lvea, and Prek Ta Kov.
Moms Against Poverty Education Program in Cambodia
Literacy is a key element for professional development and employment. This is why we Cambodia offers multiple classes in both Cambodia’s national language, Khmer, as well as English, a language often reserved for middle or upper-class Cambodians who can afford tutors. The classes consist of various learning activities, such as peer or class discussion, writing, reading, and listening.
Additionally, we offer classes in computer science, a growing field where businesses are willing to hire individuals without a college education as long as they have coding experience. This program is aimed at enabling underprivileged teens to seek jobs normally afforded to only the educated. MAPC’s students start by learning computer basics such as Microsoft Word and Excel and eventually branch out into programming by learning how to use Java Eclipse, Swing, and Fx.
Finally, we offer Music Wellness Classes, providing a means to positively channel their trauma-driven emotions through music. Moms Against Poverty’s mission to empower every child to reach their fullest potential, meant, in this case, giving children instruments and tools toward success. This class not only offers children a way to express themselves through music and arts but also provides a way for some of the children to move into a career as a musician.
Vocational Training Program
As part of our Vocational Training Program, we offer Sewing, Hydroponics, and Digital Media training. The Sewing and Weaving Program teaches life skills to children and young adults intending to obtain jobs in the various garment factories in the area, which hire more than 500,000 workers. Our Hydroponics Program is an agricultural program to teach more efficient and environmentally conscious farming, tackling food security in the community and encouraging sustainable agriculture.
The students of this program earn income by setting up hydroponics farms for customers living in the area. Our Media Academy is designed to offer a variety of skills such as graphic design, music production, lyric composition, band management, and DIY merchandise production.
Moms Against Poverty’s Orphan Care Program in Cambodia
Our Foster Care Program was birthed from our privately run Children’s Home. In 2010 when members of our Board visited Cambodia, they felt that the best way to impact the lives of so many impoverished children living in slums was to open an orphanage in a home setting. In 2016, encouraged by UNICEF, Moms Against Poverty successfully transitioned the children at the orphanage into foster families supported by us. As part of the program, families and children are monitored regularly and receive food, health, and other needs. The children also receive free education and vocational training at our school to help them reach their fullest potential.