Plan International Cambodia organised a phase-out workshop to celebrate the key achievements and to hand over the key results to relevant authorities before closing its office in Tboung Khmum province on June 30.
Since Plan International Cambodia operation started in 2004, the organisation has worked with approximately 250,000 children and their families in the targeted areas and achieved marvelous results including child support clubs, family protection networks, and peer educators.
“As the living standards and child rights situation in targeted areas in Tboung Khmum province have been improved significantly after 15-year investments, we decided it is the time for us to close our programme unit here. During these years, we learned how to work with children, with communities, and we learned how to change people’s attitude,” said Yi Kimthan, Plan International Cambodia’s deputy country director-programme, during the closing ceremony last week.
He continued, “Some parents were abusive to their kids and sometimes, they hinder their children from going to school. But those have changed over time. What we learned from Tboung Khmum will surely be applied to other provinces”.
Kimthan explained that with the existence of good schools, hospitals, centers for women and children and the growth of the province’s economic status, the organisation is now confident to leave Tboung Khmum and let it prosper on its own. The organisation will now have more resources and manpower to strengthen other chapters of Plan International.
The organisation has already developed efficient education system for children, especially girls, and will now pass the system to the provincial government officials to continue and uphold.
“Stung Treng and Ratanakiri provinces will be our next mission when we finish this programme in Tboung Khmum. In Ratanakiri, we also help children whose homes are far from school.”
Plan International worked in two districts, 12 communes and 171 villages in the province, and has served 245,859 people.
Mao Dung, acting provincial administrative director in Tboung Khmum, said that with the solid partnership between the government and NGOs, several remote areas in Tboung Khmum have now developed economically and socially.
“Plan International is developing places’ economy and education. Even if the mission of the organisation is done, it will continue to serve the province, especially in health and education. We’re also working on employment in agriculture such as in rubber, pepper, potatoes, etc,” announced Mr Dung, as he thanked the organisation for helping Tboung Khmum.
In Kork commune, Choeurng Choeurn worked as a community-based social worker. She revealed that most of the students, especially girls, are now very active in school. Students show so much interest in learning.
“I worked with the NGO to educate parents and young girls to continue or try to finish their studies as far as they can even if they are poor. Sometimes, money isn’t really the issue. I gave them ideas on how to improve their lives, like taking up scholarships and finishing a degree without paying anything. I was a scholar myself. Now, I see more girls going to school.”
Choeurn added that she is glad to have personally seen the positive changes in the community where she worked. The people are now becoming more proactive and socially conscious.
“Before, they thought girls should not learn as much as boys. But now, they send their children to school. They now know that education is very important for their children’s future.”
Plan International also supported the province’s health centers and women and children protection. The organisation helped educate people on proper hygiene and nutrition, and how to keep themselves healthy, fit and productive so they can be helpful citizens of Cambodia.