Phnom Penh, 22nd March 2017 – Almost 100 people gathered to hold a Semi-Annual Reflection Meeting after half-year implementation of the City for Children Programme. The meeting aimed to identify achievements in the first six months of 2017 as well as to formulate an action plan for the rest of the year.
In addition, the meeting was also held to improve partnership and collaboration between World Vision and the authorities, community leaders and youth groups, so that they would work and plan together to achieve Programme goals.
Participants included city hall representatives, community leaders, community volunteers, youth representatives, church leaders, agriculture cooperative leaders, and also representatives from Sen Sok, Dangkor, Reussey Keo, Por Senchey, Meanchey and Chbar Ampov districts.
Child Clubs were built, and children could meet there to read books and learn together.
Sopheap Chea, Senior Program Manager at World Vision, said: “After the reflection, I feel inspired and would like to express my admiration for the full participation, strong enthusiasm, high level of confidence, and sense of ownership of all partners.”
Kridy Kim, Leader of Hope of the My Village Agriculture Cooperative, said: “"For the last ten years, World Vision has supported us by setting up a savings group called Accumulating Savings and Credit Association (ASCA), in which each family can save their money to pay for their children’s education. Child Clubs were built, and children could meet there to read books and learn together.
Previously, these children also experienced violence, and parents stopped sending them to school so that they could earn money by collecting morning glory vegetables on lakes close to their village. But now, most parents understand that the benefits of studying out-weigh short-term income, and choose to resume sending their children to school. It is my hope that World Vision would keep developing our community because these children still need support with their education.”
Chear Som Ath, deputy head of Chba Ampov 2 district, said, “World Vision has been working in my community for six years. They have trained us and organised a disaster committee at both district and village levels. Now, our structures are functioning well. Furthermore, World Vision promotes disaster risk reduction on floods, landslides and fires within the area, especially for the most vulnerable families who are living by the riverside.
The City for Children programme is part of the greater Urban Vision Initiative (UVI), a World Vision programme which has been working and partnering with 39 youth groups, 31 churches, nine Agriculture Cooperatives, 41 Child Protection Committees, 25 non-governmental organisations and 47 Village Disaster Management Groups to ensure children and youth are protected from all forms of abuse, and that infants are well nourished and living in a hygienic environment.
Sophan Prum, Acting President of the Sangkat Trapaing Krosang Council, said that after a year and a half of working in his commune, the people have been mobilised to improve their environment, set up savings groups and mainstreamed child protection among villagers.
To mitigate disaster risks, World Vision has strengthened community engagement through creating ownership of integrated plans, building capacity with children, teachers, and commune committees for Disaster Management.