Countering poverty through education in rural Cambodia
This child sponsorship programme supports the education of children who live in the isolated village of Koroka, plagued by poverty and seasonal floods.
Situated in Kampong Cham Province in the Southeast of Cambodia and very close to the Mekong river, Koroka is a typical small Cambodian village that gets its resources from agriculture, fishing and livestock.
The village population consists of 130 families and 800 people. Most residents are Buddhists, but there is a vibrant Catholic community of 100 villagers and our programme works in close relationship with the local parish.
During the rainy season and the consequent floods, Koroka becomes an island connected to the mainland by a bridge. The floods are periodic and they paralyze the village. Fortunately, it takes place during the period of the holiday season. This abundant water is a blessing after the dry season months, but it can be difficult as well to cope as the flows are strong. As agriculture is the main productive sector, the changes in weather have a huge impact on the lives of the people. Between the environmental problems and poverty, many parents prefer to make their children work on the farm to earn money. For this reason, many children don’t attend school and suffer educational delays or drop out for financial reasons.
Therefore, it is one of the roles of Children of the Mekong to raise awareness on the importance of education. In the long term, education can bring the community a better future. Education allows these children to choose their future and improve the economic, social, and sanitary conditions of their families and community. It is they who will build the Cambodia of tomorrow. Children of the Mekong focuses its efforts on education and health. The child sponsorship programme in Koroka supports sponsored families with food, hygiene kits and tutoring for children.
Following the global Covid-19 pandemic, children and their families were provided with masks and hydro-alcoholic gel. Thankfully, no case of the virus has been seen in Koroka as of now.
How child sponsorship makes a difference in the children’s lives
Your monthly sponsorship donation of £28 will go directly to your sponsored child and their family. Sponsorship benefits come in the form of rice, hygiene products, school supplies, and some cash to pay for extra classes.
For instance, here are the costs of some common expenses:
- A kilo of rice costs 1,800 riels and a person eats an average of 400 grams of rice per day
- One bicycle costs 43 GBP
- One cow costs 129 GBP
- A wooden house with a metal roof costs 1,639 GBP
The average income in the countryside in that area is 43 GBP per month, and this also depends on the season. Your sponsorship will therefore allow your sponsored child to go to school without financial worries for the family, and thus ensure a better future.