Written by Tom Rosen (Project Manager)
The past few months has not only seen the continuation of The Branch Foundation’s outreach education projects but also much growth. We have been providing stipends for the Computer Teacher and the Education/Project Coordinator in the Shan Refugee Camp for over one year now. The benefits for the children in the camp are clearly evident – many of the students attending the in-camp classes have ranked at the top of their computer classes at the local school!
In addition to this ongoing project, we have reached our funding target goal for our new project based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This project enables 28 girls and young women, who previously were victims of trafficking and other forms of abuse, access to education in a safe, encouraging and empowering environment. In collaboration with the Cambodian Centre for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CCPCR), The Branch Foundation is committed to helping these vulnerable girls stay in school and off the dangerous streets.
Thanks to the generous support of all the people who donated and a fantastic collective effort, we reached the necessary funding target goal of $4,000 USD at the end of July – well before we had anticipated!
To date, these generous donations have allowed us to provide the following:
Here are some of the stories and feedback we’ve received from some of the girls:
Sokheng (15 years old) who was rescued from an abusive brother last November following her father’s death, said: “It’s so great being able to study in school. It makes me smile knowing I am working towards becoming a nurse so I can stop people from being sick.”
Another one of the girls, Panha (17 years old), was 13 when her grandfather sold her to a locker broker (a trafficker). She spent two years living and working in appalling condition where she was frequently abused. Now, Panha has friends, feels safe and is cared for: “The thing I’m most grateful for? Going to school,” she said.
You’re support has helped us reach our goal – to ensure a year of schooling for all girls.
This gives them the precious opportunity to break the vicious cycle of poverty and abuse, which plights much of the youth in Cambodia. Without the generous support of people such as you, this amazing achievement would not have been possible. We are very thankful for your involvement in the success of this project.
In the coming months, we hope to research new ways we can help provide an education to other communities who would otherwise not receive the essential opportunities we often take for granted. We will be sure to keep you posted on any exciting developments!
Note: The Branch Foundation pursues the highest degree of care and protection for each of its beneficiaries. To protect the identity of the people on this project, names have been changed and pictures do not necessarily represent girls who have been abused or trafficked.