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Education: Group seeks to empower children

Children in Cambodia have the power to promote their own rights and advocate for change, Keo Phalla, education project manager of the Future Cambodia Fund, said at a meeting of the Child Advocacy Network on Wednesday. “Children from 11 provinces have formed 281 clubs already, and the network is going to expand,” he said at a press conference at the Phnom Penh headquarters of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the network of NGOs that supports the initiative. Each club has at least 10 members, he added. “These clubs are not only active in promoting children’s rights, they are run by children who want to participate in their communities’ cultural and social development,” Keo said, explaining that children active in the network survey problems within their communities and then appeal to commune leaders for change. Kong Sovandate, a 16-year-old CAN leader from Svay Rieng province, said meetings with authorities can be difficult at first. “Adults don’t think we can contribute much at the beginning,” he said. “They think we are only kids. What do we know?”



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