Development and humanitarian organisation Plan International will bring an end to its 15-year involvement in Tbong Khmum province after successfully improving living standards and the children’s rights situation, especially regarding gender equality for girls and the training of the local people.
“As the living standards and child rights situation in targeted areas in Tboung Khmum province have been improved significantly after 15 years of investment, we decided it is the right time for us to close our programme unit here,” Plan International Cambodia’s deputy country director Yi Kimthan said on Wednesday on its Facebook page.
Plan International has been working in 17 communes and 152 villages in Dambe and Ponhea Kraek districts since 2004. It will cease operating there in June.
‘Improving children’s rights’
The NGO, headquartered in the UK, has worked with approximately 250,000 children and their families and achieved significant results.
“Our work has included helping parents and caregivers to practise appropriate infant and toddler feeding practices, and positive early stimulation and good hygiene and sanitation practices. We have built health centres and established community-based pre-schools, primary and secondary schools and supported existing ones."
“The organisation has provided sexual and reproductive health training to young people and capacity building to relevant authorities and the local communities,” it said.
Kimthan told The Post on Wednesday: “We have contributed to significantly improving the situation of children’s rights, especially girls.
“Our work especially involved the right to good health from birth, the right to education, the right to clean drinking water and hygiene and the right to protection from all forms of discrimination.”
Plan International established 187 children’s clubs, built 541 wells in the community, and provided 100 toilets to schools and pre-schools.
Nine health centres were built for post-delivery care, equipped with materials, toilets, wells and solar panels. Some 18 primary and junior high schools were constructed, while 13 libraries were built and stocked with books.
Schools have also been given 41 gardens, while five vaccination centres have helped 3,707 children. Plan International’s nutrition programme has aided 11, 270 children.
The establishment of education and training groups has provided health education for 75,986 young people and 131 pre-schools have been supported and constructed, including learning and teaching materials, toilets and gardens.
It has supported 958 parental groups and 120 teachers have been trained in teaching methodologies.
At a phase-out workshop at the Provincial Hall on Wednesday, Social Services of Cambodia (SSC) community representative Choeurng Choeurn expressed her regret at the NGO’s withdrawal.
“I feel like I’m losing a part of my body. The organisation has done so much. Previously, local people were violent towards women and children and many children abandoned their studies."
“But Plan International taught the locals to respect women’s and children’s rights, changed their mindset and fostered participation in the community,” she said.