In third world nations, the disadvantages of poverty are greatly enhanced for the most vulnerable in society; children.
The effects of poverty, malnutrition and poor health can be detrimental to the development of children, notably if they are living in uninspiring communities. These disadvantaged children are likely to do poorly in school and consequently have low incomes, high fertility, and provide poor care for their children, thus trailing the cycle of poverty they were born into.
To foster a healthy community and allow for opportunities that free people from the cycle of poverty; the nurturing and development of the next generation is imperative. Over the past three years World Orphan Fund has been operating our Leadership Development Program which is directed to empower children and adolescents from poor rural areas in Cambodia. The aim is to instil in them education, skills, hope, ambition and confidence to become leaders in their communities.
Orphaned girls, or those from impoverished families, who display a high level of intelligence are selected and enrolled in some of the finest selective and competitive schools in Cambodia. This provides them with a great opportunity to excel and reach their full potential. WOF removes the barriers of poverty that keeps them behind their wealthier classmates, allowing the young girls to develop into productive members of their society.
It is with great pride that World Orphan Fund was recently able to witness our orphans and sponsored students receiving academic achievement awards from the son of the Prime Minister, Hun Manet- who is also currently the lieutenant general of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.
To have one of our sponsored girls achieve first position in her grade, and another second place, is an incredible accomplishment not only for these girls and their communities but for the long-term, sustainable projects of World Orphan Fund. These girls have come from neighbourhoods which only six years ago had no stable electricity supply, offered only basic education and little hope or prospects for its residents. For the women in the community their outlook declined more so, with some even having to suffer silently against domestic abuse; a result of general lack of awareness and education stagnating the community.
According to the National Institute of Statistics in Cambodia, only 54% of the population aged 6-24 years in rural areas attend school. Furthermore, only 36% of this population will pursue studies beyond primary level.
Seeing our girls blossoming into their full potential with endless opportunities within reach, shows that World Orphan Fund has reached a successful milestone in intelligent and sustainable aid solutions – with many more positive changes in the horizon.
Our Leadership Development Program is a high-cost project requiring expensive school fees. A monthly donation can go a long way in supporting this program and offering the opportunity to many more children. Please consider donating generously and help change the lives of not just these children but their entire communities.
When we raise children as intelligent and productive members of society, we raise a nation out of poverty.