Helping Hands supports children and their families in the rural village of Prasat Char, near Siem Reap in Cambodia.
Government schools in Cambodia run lessons for half a day, and are technically free for children to attend. However, in order to enrol, students must have a school uniform, and stationery supplies such as pens and paper. Unfortunately, in many areas, families are simply not able to afford these items, therefore a large number of children still miss out on receiving an education.
A stipulation of a child attending Helping Hands is that they also attend the local Government school. To enable our students to do this, we provide the school uniform and stationery supplies that they need to enrol. We also supplement this education by enrolling them at Helping Hands for the other half of the day.
At Helping Hands, our ultimate aim is to empower our students to break out of a life of poverty. We're committed to providing a locally staffed project, where the children receive free supplementary education. By teaching our students additional skills, we open up opportunities for a self-reliant and sustainable future, ultimately enabling them to live a healthier and happier life. Through providing education and life skills we help the community to help themselves.
We have three key areas of focus: Education, Health Care and Social Care.
We teach up to 300 students between the ages of 4 and 20 years old, from Monday to Friday. The core curriculum includes lessons in Khmer Literacy, Numeracy, English Language, Arts and Crafts, Sports and Music. We also teach Health & Hygiene and Life Skills. This is what sets us apart from many other organisations. At Helping Hands, we equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed both professionally and personally, giving them the best possible opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty.
In addition to the education we provide on-site, we provide University Scholarships to up to ten young adults each year. We support the young adults with school fees, educational materials and emergency medical care, to encourage them to continue their education, and pursue the career of their choice. For students wishing to pursue vocational training, we have close relationships with a number of hospitality and training schools in Siem Reap. We support our students throughout the application process, and regularly check in for updates on how they're progressing.
A key part of our Health Programme is to provide our students with a healthy and nutritious breakfast each morning. This breakfast contains fresh vegetables grown in our own onsite organic garden, and is prepared within the guidelines of the World Food Program.
Medical Health and Hygiene
Our students receive weekly Health and Hygiene lessons, and are encouraged to practice hand-washing and tooth brushing daily. We provide our students with toothbrushes and toothpaste, and arrange dental care for those needing treatment. First-aid treatment is provided on site at the school, and we also pay for transportation to the free children’s hospital in Siem Reap for students who require more urgent medical care. We also support our students and their families with the additional food costs incurred whilst staying in hospital.
Our dedicated Social Worker works to build up and maintain trusting relationships with our students and their families. By having a trusted relationship, she is more easily able to work through issues such as low attendance, and ensure that students can keep attending both Government School, and Helping Hands. Our Social Worker is also perfectly placed to refer individuals and families to support organisations in the area, allowing them access to advice and care that they previously were not aware of.
Uniforms and Stationery Supplies
We provide all students with a tailored school uniform at the start of the school year. The school uniform is essential for our students to attend their half day Government School. We also provide the necessary stationery supplies such as pens, pencils and books so our students are fully equipped to learn!