The infamous Steung Meanchey garbage dump, workplace and home to one of Cambodia's most disenfranchised populations, ceased commercial operation in 2009.
While the closure heralded the end of a tragic era, it brought with it a new set of challenges for the people who lived at the dump and depended on it as their sole source of income. As the primary income earners for their families, mothers of CCF children were left particularly vulnerable. No longer having the daily subsistence work of garbage picking, these women and their children faced a bleak, high-risk future in urban and rural slums.
And so, as with many of our other programs, necessity led us to develop EnGender, a specialized vocational training program for mothers who have children enrolled in CCF's Education Program. The EnGender Program was designed to help these women move from being socially outcast garbage pickers to becoming valued members of mainstream society. Most of them had only ever experienced life within the garbage dump; they'd endured a lifetime of domestic violence and abuse and were left with no income prospects at all when the dump closed. It was an enormous challenge, but we'd faced plenty of those before!
Cambodian Children's Fund Australia is proud to be a partner in Project J642 The CCF Education Program, Cambodia with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993), an Australian Non Government Organisation (NGO) carrying out humanitarian projects with approved partners and providing aid to relieve poverty and provide long term solutions through the provision of quality aid and development projects. Global Development Group takes responsibility for approved projects according to DFAT rules, providing a governance role and assisting in the areas of planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating to ensure that approved projects are carried out to Australian requirements. For more information about Global Development Group, visit www.globaldevelopment.org.au