SUCCESS & INNOVATION
A VULNERABLE POOR GIRL CHANGES HER NEW LIFEDate : 2023-05-17
A 13-year-old girl, called Eang Reaksa, studies in Grade 6 and lives with her mother named Mrs. Kan Srey Mao and father named Vaon Thean. They all live in a rural village about three kilometers from Tuol Roka Primary School in Kampong Trabaek commune, Kampong Trabaek district, Prey Veng province. Her father is a construction worker and mother is a housewife with no specific occupation to earn extra income. Reaksa has a sister studying in Grade 6. Her family don’t have an appropriate house to live in because the whole family now live with her grandparents. Reaksa's father is the only sole breadwinner to raise her family. Whenever the construction is taken place, he is called to work. Of this, it makes him very difficult to support family adequately. Reaksa went to school irregularly due to gynecological diseases, bleeding and was shy and did not dare to tell her parents or teachers. When finding her bleeding, her mother sent her to the hospital for treatment and missed to go to school.
After the Easy2Learn (E2L) project intervention, implemented by KAPE with financial support from ChildFund Cambodia, her mother was invited to attend school interviews and consultations on her daughter's education, especially related to the health issues of adult girls. Because her daughter never told her the truth. Since that time, Reaksa has regularly been to Tuol Roka Primary School to study normal subjects including Khmer, mathematics, science, social studies and English. “Through the girl counseling program, we can help many vulnerable girls from Grade 4 to 6, especially Reaksa because she was not shy as before. Whenever there is a problem, she always comes to me for consultation. Reaksa has regularly been back to school. She took place 10 in the past but she now takes place 9,” said Mrs. Chhim Phall Neary, the teacher in charge of girl counseling.
When the project intervention was not arrived, Reaksa was always absent, challenging menopause and menstruation problems, embarrassed, not to dare to tell parents, had abdominal pain, pale face, lost time to go to school. The mother always asked and took her to the doctor. Her study results were decreased.
After the project inserting the girl consultation program, the school invited Mrs. Srey Mao to attend meeting about her child's education and health challenges. Reaksa also received counseling on health and education. Since that time, she has changed a lot, dared to tell her truth, been not shy. She has recovered from her illness and regularly backed to school. “I am very happy! It's very extraordinary for my school because we have never had this program and the school has never implemented such program for consulting girls. But the project has put and implemented it and contacted the Reaksa’s family to provide travel and medical expense support. If the project provides this support to more other girls, it would be better. I now find out that Reaksa has better study results, is brave and healthier," said Mr. Lun Sithou, the director of Tuol Roka primary school.
Reaksa is recently happy. Her study results are improved. She participates in activities with classmates, especially, she dares to discuss with parents about personal health. “Now, I am very relieved and very happy because I have girl counselor to help and motivate me. In the future, I want to be a policewoman. I will try my best to study well,” said Reaksa while seating in the chair with hope in front of her aunt’s house.
The E2L project provides Reaksa with a bicycle, learning materials, personal items (sanitary pads for menstrual protection and soaps). The project has been set up activities to monitor and evaluate beneficiaries such as Reaksa…etc. "If there were no girl counselor supported by the project to help my daughter, she would not have changed a better life," said Mrs. Srey Mao with facial expression of tearfulness.
KAPE has achieved many successes in the implementation of educational programs for children and youth over the past 20 years. The organization has continued to strengthen the quality of teachers and school directors in teaching and school management, inclusive education for children and youth in the educational sector. KAPE continues to look for development partners who can respond the needs of vulnerable youth and children. KAPE has worked with ChildFund Cambodia and other partners such as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, sub-national governments, schools, communities, NGOs and other stakeholders. Reaksa is needed to continue motivated both physically and mentally to be happy to learn. She should also have solutions of health problems and keep hope in life.
6Higher Education Institutions