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Education, best way to get the children out of the dumpsite

Fri 1 Jul 2016 | Street Children | Goutte d’Eau/DamnokToek (DT)

© AEA Cambodia

The garbage trucks arrive and discharge the garbage into the dumpsite. Immediately, a group of children come close to picking up the plastic bottles, cans and other objects for sale. “I come here every morning with my mother in order to collect cans and plastic bottles to sell. It is the only way thing we can do to survive. Anyways, I would still go to school like other children”, said Syleang to the social team of Damnok Toek centre.

Syleang, 9 year old girl, lives with her family in a small hut next to the dumpsite of Poipet city, her father is a construction worker. Poverty prevents Syleang access to education so she   has to work with her mother in the dumpsite. Her hygiene is awful and she is often sick due to  her bad living conditions.

From a dumpsite to the primary school…

After several discussions between the social work team of Damnok Toek and her parents at the beginning of 2013, Syleang had a chance to attend the non-formal education program at the street children centre of Damnok Toek. She can learn Khmer literature, basic arithmetic, science and proper hygiene… She can benefit in addition to regular medical checkups. “I am very happy here because I can study and enjoy with my friends. In addition, the teacher takes good care of me. Everything is better than the dumpsite”, said Syleang. “She can focus and understand the lessons well. She is now able to read and write properly”, added Mrs. Koem Sry, Sreyleang’s teacher.

Thanks to her efforts, next year, Syleang will be integrated into the public school system. Her parents are happy with her school results and understand better and better the importance of education for the development of their daughter. “I am proud of the learning achievements of my daughter, and delighted that she will go to the public school. I hope that education will help her to have a better future”, told Ms. Seang, Syleang’s mother.