Development cooperation Church cooperation
Cambodia is one of the world’s poorest countries. The country’s history of unrest and violence has complicated its democratic development. The darkest chapter in the country’s history was the period of rule by the Khmer Rouge government at the end of the 1970s. Since the late 1990s the political situation in the country has stabilised.
One half of the population of Cambodia are under the age of 18. Many children, due to poverty and for other reasons, are unable to attend school. Furthermore, many children are sent to orphanages by their parents, in the hope that they would be able to provide them with a better future.
FELM has supported development cooperation projects in Cambodia since 2000 and has more recently begun church work in the village of Krus.
FELM supports development cooperation projects in Cambodia that aim to:
- Improve the living standards of ethnic minority groups living in north-east Cambodia. The work emphasizes literacy and food security.
- Support the education and strengthen the life skills of disadvantaged and orphaned children
- Support the reintegrated into society victims of human trafficking and support work that aims to prevent the sexual exploitation of boys
- Support the ICT skills training of workers in our Cambodian partner organisation, ICC.
FELM supports two ICC literacy and development projects in north-east Cambodia. The majority of the population in the area belong to various ethnic minority groups and the area is one the poorest in the country. Few of the people are able to speak the national language Khmer, which is the language used in the Cambodian education system. They are also unable to read and write in their own languages. The aim of the projects is to both improve literacy and numeracy rates and improve the living conditions of ethnic minority groups. Literacy classes begin in people’s own mother tongue and only slowly switch to the national language, Khmer. The projects also include food security and agriculture and animal rearing components.
The level of care provided in orphanages affects children’s lives well into adulthood. For this reason FELM supports a project that aims to both create alternative working methods for orphanages and also to prevent children from being placed in orphanages in the first place. Teenage children in orphanages in the Phnom Penh area are provided with training in life skills and are given support in finding suitable study and employment places. The training strengthens their preparedness for living an independent life once they have left the orphanage.
FELM also partners with First Step in its pioneering work in preventing the sexual exploitation of boys and caring for victims of such abuse. First Step arranges training for social workers, offers victims tailored social services and peer support groups, organises support groups for the relatives of victims, campaigns at the village level and carries out research into the sexual exploitation of boys.
FELM also supports the human trafficking prevention and reintegration work of the Chab Dai network.
Cambodia’s first Lutheran church has been founded in the village of Krus (population: 3,000). The congregation is active and employs two pastors, a teacher, two cooks and a caretaker. The church and is also helping provide work experience for a number of people.