Plan International Cambodia (PIC) announced plans to empower girls and young women in Cambodia over the next five years with its 2.5 Million Reasons campaign as it virtually celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child.

According to its press release, 2.5 Million Reasons refers to the programme’s goal of reaching 2.5 million girls – one million directly and 1.5 million indirectly – over the next five years.

Under this new country strategy plan for Cambodia, the organisation said it will strategically partner to empower adolescent girls and young women in the Kingdom and support them in gaining knowledge, skills and confidence in order to realise their rights and reach their full potential.

“Building on our successful implementation of previous country strategies, we are now launching our new 2.5 Million Reasons 2021-2026,” said Plan International country representative Gwynneth Wong.

“Over the next five years, [we] will continue pursuing our ambition to advance children’s rights and equality for girls in Cambodia. Our new goal in the next five years is to strategically partner to empower 2.5 million girls, especially adolescent girls and young women,” she said.

Hou Nirmita, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, said the organisation’s programmes provided support for the government’s national strategic development plans which include the goal of eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and strengthening the role of girls and women as the backbone of society and the economy.

“The launching of the programme is a necessary and important way to improve the living conditions of the brave women and girls in our society,” she said.

One of the event attendees, who only gave her first name as Chethany, said: “Over the next five years, I want to see more girls being healthy from an early age, obtaining a quality education, receiving full protection from abuse, fulfilling their potential as individuals economically, and having the right to make decisions for themselves by becoming active citizens in the community.”

According to the press release, in the five year period from 2016-2021, the organisation implemented five strategic programmes – Nutrition; Early Childcare and Development; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; TVET Education; and Child Protection – in provinces throughout the Kingdom.