The Damnok Toek Organisation, a local NGO, is set to hold a walking campaign on August 25 in Kep province, with the aim of increasing awareness regarding the rights and capabilities of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Leading the event will be beneficiaries and staff from Damnok Toek Kep, EpicArts, Komar Pikar Foundation (KPF) and Kampuchea Sela Handicap (KSH), as stated in a press release from the NGO on August 22.
Joining them will be representatives from the provincial Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, local authorities and community members, with 60 to 70 participants expected to attend.
“Simultaneous processions will begin with one group starting their walk from the Damnak Chang Auer market and the other group starting from Kep Secondary School. Tuk-tuks will be available for those who cannot walk and do not have wheelchairs,” Sarah Saunders, communications lead at Damnok Toek, told The Post.
The walk will begin at 8am and the two groups will converge at Damnok Toek’s Kep Project Site at 9:30am.
The event will feature speeches by representatives from the department, Damnok Toek, KSH and KPF.
EpicArts is scheduled to present a performance showcasing the abilities of individuals with disabilities. Additionally, products crafted by people with intellectual disabilities will be offered to attendees.
Since 2016, Damnok Toek has operated a residential centre in Kep for young adults. The organisation recently introduced the Semi-Assisted Living Arrangement (SILA), which empowers residents to handle their daily tasks and acquire skills necessary for future independent living and work within the community.
This initiative is part of a broader effort to foster inclusivity for individuals with disabilities in the local community. DamnokToek residents have been actively engaging in regular beach trips, participating in markets, collaborating with NGOs for various events and contributing to local area clean-ups.
The central objective of the NGO is to enhance understanding of intellectual disabilities among the Kep community. The organisation aims to facilitate increased interaction between community members both with and without disabilities, ultimately paving the way for enhanced employment opportunities for their beneficiaries in Kep.
“Uniting the community is crucial not solely for promoting awareness of disability rights, but also for creating tangible pathways for social integration and employment for individuals with intellectual disabilities,” said the NGO’sexecutive director, Sam Sovannarith.
He expressed the organisation’s intent to host similar events in the future, in collaboration with other disability-focused organisations, all aimed at achieving their core goals.