Cambodia: Rice scholarships for girls in training.

(Fotos: Lotus Outreach International)

During this year 2022, we are again supporting female students in Cambodia to keep them in training schemes through so called "rice scholarships". Those girls in question come from poor backgrounds, where their families cannot afford school and university education without outside help. This regular support by way of securing rice makes it possible for the girls to continue their schooling and even earn a university degree. YOUR donation will help provide a pathway out of poverty and dependency for these young women.

 

The project has been realised in partnership with Lotus Outreach International (LOI), a partner of our American coooperation partner Buddhist Global Relief, since 2009. LOI is committed to improving the lives of women and girls in Cambodia and India through initiatives that promote girls' access to education, provide counseling, and offer refuge to victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.

 

An important approach of LOI's education programs is to provide economic security for impoverished female students and young children in rural Cambodia by providing rice. Reliable food security for families affected by malnutrition often creates the foundation for these girls to be able to pursue their education without having to support their families through child labor. Rice also provides the food base for the girls' parents and siblings and thus benefits all family members. The resulting food security enables the families to release the girls from working in the house and on the farm, and to enable them to be enrolled in education programs.

 

BGR has funded travel support for Lotus Outreach's GATE scholarship program since it first established contact with this project in 2009 and for the CATALYST program since its inception as a continuation of the GATE program.

 

GATE (an acronym for Girls Access To Education) provides educational scholarships for girls in elementary and secondary schools. CATALYST, also supported by a BGR grant, builds on this foundation by helping girls obtain a higher education at universities and vocational training institutions throughout Cambodia. All students in these programs commit to attending school for at least one year.

 

Last year, the BGR scholarship was expanded to support not only the female students in the GATE and CATALYST scholarship programs, but also the families of 301 kindergarten children. For this year, we, Mitgefuehl in Aktion e.V. (MiA), have committed a larger sum to sustainably support this work alongside BGR.

 

The GATE rice assistance program has been realised through the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center in collaboration with local educational support groups in the student villages. These groups, consisting of teachers, parents, government officials and volunteers, then deliver the rice directly to the recipients. LOI staff conduct the CATALYST program's rice distribution.

 

A total of 46.5 tons of rice was distributed to 181 families under this program from July 2020 to 2021, providing nutritional assistance to a total of 766 people.

Sean Ruos in her own words: My name is Sean Rous. I am 20 years old, have four siblings, and am the second daughter in the family. I am a student at Vanda Institute of Accounting, majoring in Accounting. I am a sophomore soon to be a 3rd year student. Lotus Outreach has supported me with 15 kg of rice every month to get everything such as monthly pocket money, money for English classes, computer course, study materials and accommodation fee. The rice is very important for me and my family. With this rice support, it can help my family to reduce some expenses; especially during the outbreak of Covid-19 in our county, which affected my family greatly because it was difficult to earn money. Every day we spend more than we earn, but my family and don't have to worry thanks to the support of CATALYST. All my thanks go to Lotus Outreach for supporting me and my family with rice. We can survive without meat, but we can't survive without rice. Thanks again for the support!

 

Sean Ruos in her own words: My name is Sean Rous. I am 20 years old, have four siblings, and am the second daughter in the family. I am a student at Vanda Institute of Accounting, majoring in Accounting. I am a sophomore soon to be a 3rd year student. Lotus Outreach has supported me with 15 kg of rice every month to get everything such as monthly pocket money, money for English classes, computer course, study materials and accommodation fee. The rice is very important for me and my family. With this rice support, it can help my family to reduce some expenses; especially during the outbreak of Covid-19 in our county, which affected my family greatly because it was difficult to earn money. Every day we spend more than we earn, but my family and don't have to worry thanks to the support of CATALYST. All my thanks go to Lotus Outreach for supporting me and my family with rice. We can survive without meat, but we can't survive without rice. Thanks again for the support!

 

This article is based on reports from Lotus Outreach staff / Red. RH.