ឆ្ពោះទៅសម្រេចបានតំបន់អាស៊ីអាគ្នេយ៍ ដែលគ្មានការបន្ទោបង់ពាសវាលពាសកាល

សេចក្តីប្រកាស​ព័ត៌មាន ៖

ក្រុងភ្នំពេញ​នឹង​រៀបចំសន្និសីទ​អន្តរជាតិស្តីពី​គម្រោងសហគមន៍ដឹកនាំអនាម័យទាំងស្រុង​ (CLTS) ដែលនឹងប្រមូលផ្តុំ​ដោយ​អ្នកជំនាញ​នៃកម្មវិធី​ទឹក​ស្អាត និងអនាម័យ​ (WASH) ប្រមាណ ១០០នាក់​ មកពី​តំបន់​អាស៊ី​ខាងត្បូង និងអាស៊ីអាគ្នេយ៍ ដើម្បី​ចែករំលែកបទពិសោធន៍ និងពិភាក្សាអំ​ពីវិធីសាស្រ្ត​ឆ្ពោះ​ទៅសម្រេច​បាន​​ “គ្មាន​ការ​បន្ទោ​បង់​ពាសវាលពាសកាលនៅតំបន់អាស៊ីអាគ្នេយ៍” ​ដែល​នឹងធ្វើឡើងនៅថ្ងៃទី ១៥១៧ ខែវិច្ឆិកា ឆ្នាំ២០១៧។ សន្និសីទនេះ​នឹង​ប្រព្រឹត្តឡើងក្រោម​អធីបតី​របស់ ​ឯកឧត្តមឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្រ្តី យឹម ឆៃលី នៅព្រឹកថ្ងៃទី១៥        ខែវិច្ឆិកា នា​សណ្ឋាគារ​កាំបូឌីយ៉ាណា ទីក្រុងភ្នំពេញ។

3.1

សន្និសីទក្រោមប្រធានបទ “ពី​សហគមន៍ឆ្ពោះទៅរក​ប្រជាជាតិ​ដែល​គ្មានការ​បន្ទោ​បង់​ពាសវាល​ពាសកាល៖ ការ​ពន្លឿនឲ្យតំបន់អាស៊ីអាគ្នេយ៍ក្លាយ​ជា​តំបន់ដែល​​គ្មានការ​បន្ទោ​បង់​ពាស​វាល​ពាស​កាល”    នឹង​រៀបចំឡើង​រួមគ្នា​ដោយ​រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជា និង​មូលនិធិ​គម្រោងសហគមន៍ដឹកនាំអនាម័យទាំងស្រុង ដោយមានការសហការ​ជាមួយ​អង្គការ​ភ្លែនអន្តរជាតិ។ អ្នកជំនាញនៃកម្មវិធី​ទឹកស្អាត និង​អនាម័យ​មកពី​កម្ពុជា វៀតណាម ឡាវ មីយ៉ាន់ម៉ា ឥណ្ឌូនេស៊ី ហ្វីលីពីន ទីម័រ​ខាងកើត និង​ឥណ្ឌា នឹង​ចូលរួមក្នុង​សន្និសីទ​នេះ​ (រយៈពេល ៣ថ្ងៃ)។ ក្រៅពីតំណាង​របស់​រដ្ឋាភិបាល ក៏មាន​ការ​ចូលរួម​ផងដែរពីសំណាក់​អ្នកជំនាញនៃ​កម្មវិធី​ទឹកស្អាត និងអនាម័យ មកពី​ទីភ្នាក់ងារ​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​អន្តរជាតិ ដូចជា ធនាគារ​ពិភពលោក អង្គការ UNICEF អង្គការ WaterAid អង្គការអភិវឌ្ឍន៍ហូឡង់ (SNV) អង្គការ​ទស្សនពិភពលោក និង​ក្រុមប្រឹក្សាសហប្រតិបត្តិការវិស័យទឹកស្អាត និងអនាម័យ​ (WSSCC-ហ្សឺណែវ)​ និង​បណ្តាញ​ផ្សព្វផ្សាយជាតិ និងអន្តរជាតិ​។

លោក ជ្រាយ ប៉ុម​  ប្រធាននាយកដ្ឋាន​ថែទាំសុខភាព​ជនបទ​នៃក្រសួង​អភិវឌ្ឍ​ន៍ជនបទរបស់​រាជ ​រដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជា បាន​ថ្លែងថា ៖​ “គម្រោងសហគមន៍​ដឹកនាំ​អនាម័យទាំងស្រុង ​បាន​ចូលរួម​ចំណែក​​​យ៉ាង​ច្រើនក្នុងការ​លើកកម្ពស់​អនាម័យ​ជនបទ ជាពិសេស​ការកាត់បន្ថយការ​បន្ទោបង់ពាស​វាល​ពាសកាល​ដែលជា​បញ្ហា​ចោទ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​របស់យើង។ ប៉ុន្តែ​ការពន្លឿនវឌ្ឍនភាព​ឆ្ពោះទៅសម្រេច​បាន​ការលុបបំបាត់ការ​បន្ទោបង់​ពាសវាលពាសកាល​ទាំងស្រុង និងការ​រក្សា​បាន​សមិទ្ធផល​នេះ​មក​ទល់​បច្ចុប្បន្ន​ ទាមទារ​នូវ​កម្លាំង​ផ្គួប​កាន់តែច្រើនបូករួមនឹងគំនិតផ្តួចផ្តើម​ផ្សេងៗ។ ដូច្នេះ ខ្ញុំ​សង្ឃឹម​ថា សន្និសីទនេះ​នឹង​ផ្តល់លទ្ធផល​ល្អប្រសើរ​ដើម្បីជួយដល់កិច្ចខិតខំប្រឹងប្រែង​របស់​យើង​ក្នុងការ​សម្រេច​​បានចក្ខុវិស័យ​អនាម័យជនបទ”។

22552651_1972951302745358_7035940436510941435_n

គម្រោង​សហគមន៍​ដឹកនាំអនាម័យទាំងស្រុង បានក្លាយ​ជា​ចលករ​ដ៏សំខាន់ក្នុងការ​ជំរុញ​លទ្ធភាព​ទទួលបាន​អនាម័យ​សម្រាប់ប្រជាជន​រាប់លាននាក់​ ជាពិសេស​ប្រជាជន​ជនបទនៅក្នុងប្រទេស​កំពុងអភិវឌ្ឍន៍​ កាលពីអតីតកាល និង​កន្លះ​ទសវត្សរ៍​កន្លងមក។ នៅពេល​​បិទបញ្ចប់​គោលដៅ​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​​​សហស្សវត្សរ៍​ (MDG) នៅឆ្នាំ ២០១៥ គម្រោងនេះ​ត្រូវ​បាន​បញ្រ្ជាប​តាមស្ថាប័ន​ក្នុង​គោលនយោបាយ     ​អនាម័យ​ជាតិ​របស់​ប្រជាជាតិ​យ៉ាង​តិច ៣៥ និង​ត្រូវ​បានអនុវត្ត​ជា​វិធីសាស្រ្ត​គន្លឹះ​ ដើម្បី​សម្រេចបាន     ​​អនាម័យ​ក្នុងប្រទេសជាង ៦៥ នៅ​អាស៊ីអាហ្រ្វិច និង​អាមេរិក​ឡាទីន។

គម្រោង​នេះ​ត្រូវ​បានអនុវត្ត​នៅកម្ពុជា​កាលពីឆ្នាំ ២០០៤ តាមរយៈ​អង្គការ Concern Worldwide ដែល​ក្រោយមកត្រូវ​បានពង្រីក​តាមបណ្តាខេត្ត ៨ នៅកម្ពុជា ក្រោមការ​ដឹកនាំ​របស់ក្រសួងអភិវឌ្ឍន៍​ជនបទ​ដោយសហការ​ជាមួយ​អង្គការ​ភ្លែនអន្តរជាតិ អង្គការ UNICEF និង​អង្គការ​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​ហូឡង់ (SNV)។ ជាលទ្ធផល​ ប្រជាជន​រស់នៅជនបទ​ក្នុងប្រទេសកម្ពុជា​ជាង​ពាក់កណ្តាលនាពេលបច្ចុប្បន្ននេះ ទទួលបាន​សេវា​អនាម័យ​ល្អ​ប្រសើរ (ធៀបនឹង​ការ​ទទួលបានសេវា​អនាម័យមូលដ្ឋានតែ​ ១១% ​​នៅឆ្នាំ ១៩៩០)។ រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល​កម្ពុជា កំពុងខិតខំធានាលទ្ធភាព​ទទួលបានអនាម័យល្អប្រសើរ​ឲ្យបាន ៦០% នៅឆ្នាំ ២០១៨ និង​ប្រកាស​ជា​ប្រជាជាតិដែលគ្មាន​ការ​បន្ទោបង់​ពាសវាលពាសកាលនៅឆ្នាំ ២០២៥។

សន្និសីទនេះមានគោលបំណងដកស្រង់​​បទពិសោធន៍​       និងការអនុវត្តល្អ​ៗពី​ថ្នាក់តំបន់     និង     ​ដោះ​ស្រាយ​​បញ្ហា​សំខាន់ៗ​ឆ្ពោះទៅសម្រេច​បាន​គោលដៅទី ៦.២ ស្តីពីអនាម័យសកល​ ក្នុង​​គោលដៅ​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​ប្រកប​ដោយ​ចីរភាព។ វគ្គផ្សេងៗ​ក្នុងសន្និសីទនេះនឹង​ពិភាក្សា​ពី​បទពិសោធន៍​អនាម័យ​របស់​គោលដៅ​អភិវឌ្ឍ​ន៍សហស្សវត្សរ៍ក្នុង​តំបន់ បញ្ហា​ប្រឈមធំៗរបស់ប្រទេស​នានាក្នុងការ​ឆ្ពោះ​ទៅ​ស​ម្រេច ​បាន​គោល​ដៅអភិវឌ្ឍន៍ប្រកប​ដោយចីរភាព​ និង​មូលដ្ឋាន​ដ៏សំខាន់​សម្រាប់​ការពង្រីក​គម្រោង​នេះ​ក្នុង ​តំបន់។

ការពិចារណា​ក្នុង​សន្និសីទនេះ នឹង​ត្រូវ​បាន​យកទៅអនុវត្តក្នុង​ការ​បង្កើត​ផែនទី​បង្ហាញផ្លូវ​ និង​ផែនការ​​សកម្មភាពសម្រាប់​តំបន់អាស៊ីអាគ្នេយ៍ឆ្ពោះទៅសម្រេច​បាន​ប្រជាជាតិ​ដែល​គ្មាន​ការ​បន្ទោបង់​ពាស​វាល​ពាសកាលនៅរយៈពេលប៉ុន្មានឆ្នាំខាងមុខ។

 

សម្រាប់ព័ត៌មានបន្ថែម​ស្តីពីសន្និសីទ សូមទាក់ទង ៖

  • លេខាធិការ​ដ្ឋាន​សន្និសីទ អ្នកស្រី Hilda Winarta hilda.winarta@gmail.com
  • លោក Amit Sengupta (មូលនិធិ​គម្រោងសហគមន៍ដឹកនាំអនាម័យទាំងស្រុង)​ Phone: (+91)9717984406  Email: amit@cltsfoundation.org
  • អ្នកស្រី Preetha Prabhakaran (​មូលនិធិ​គម្រោងសហគមន៍ដឹកនាំអនាម័យទាំងស្រុង​) Phone: (+91) 80 17681355 Email: preetha@cltsfoundation.org
  • លោក យឿន ផារី (អង្គការភ្លែនអន្តរជាតិកម្ពុជា)​ HP: +855 (0)92 527 092 Email: phary.yoeun@plan-international.org
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International Conference on Community-Led Total Sanitation in Cambodia– Paving the way to Open Defecation Free South East Asia

PRESS RELEASE

Phnom Penh will host an international conference on community-led total sanitation (CLTS) that will gather around 100 WASH experts from South and South East Asia region, to share experiences and discuss the way forward to an open defecation-free South East Asia from15-17 November 2017. The conference will be inaugurated by the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, HE Dr. Yim Chhay Ly, in the morning of 15th November at Hotel Cambodiana in Phnom Penh.

The conference titled ‘From Communities to Open Defecation Free Nations: Fast tracking an ODF South East Asia’ is being jointly hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia and CLTS Foundation in cooperation with Plan International. The WASH experts from Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor L’este, and India would be participating in the 3-day conference. Apart from the representatives of the governments, WASH experts from International development agencies like the World Bank, UNICEF, WaterAid, SNV, World Vision, and WSSCC (Geneva) and national and international media would also participate.

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Mr. Chreay Pom, Director, Department of Rural Health Care, Ministry of Rural Development, Royal Government of Cambodia said: “CLTS has contributed significantly to improving our rural sanitation particularly reducing open defecation practice which is a major problem for our country.  However, accelerating progress to enable complete eradication of open defecation and sustaining our ODF achievements to date require more synergy with different initiatives.  I am therefore hopeful that this Conference will bring good outcomes that could support us in our continuing efforts to achieve our rural sanitation and hygiene vision.”

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CLTS has been instrumental in enhancing sanitation access for millions of people, especially the rural population, across the developing world, during the past one and a halfdecades. By the close of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) period in 2015, CLTS was institutionalised in the national sanitation policy of at least 35 nations and rolled out as the key approach for sanitation in over 65 countries across the Asia, Africa and Latin America.

CLTS was introduced in Cambodia in 2004 through Concern Worldwide, which was later scaled up in eight provinces of Cambodia under the leadership of the .Ministry of Rural Developmentin collaboration with Plan International, UNICEF and SNV. As a result, more than half of rural Cambodians now have access to improved sanitation, compared to only 11% access to basic sanitation in 1990. The Royal Government of Cambodia is targeting to ensure access to improved sanitation to 60% by 2018 and declare the nation Open Defecation Free by 2025.

This conference aims to distill the learnings from experiences and good practices from the region and address the critical questions towards meeting the SDG goal 6.2 of universal sanitation. The different sessions of the conference would discuss the MDG experience of sanitation in the region, key challenges the countries face going forward towards achieving SDG and the critical building blocks for scaling-up in the region.

Deliberations from this conference will be applied to develop a roadmap and action plan for the South East Asia region towards achieving ODF nations in the coming years.

 

For further information about the conference, please contact:

Long Waited Classroom for Deprived Indigenous Minorities

by Mom Chantara Soleil

With smiles and enthusiasm, hundreds of children – majority of whom belong to indigenous groups in Ratanak Kiri province – could not wait to sit in 12 new classrooms of two school buildings and enjoy fresh learning facilities handed over to Ministry of Education Youth for the happening academic year commencement.

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The official handover ceremony of long-waited school buildings in Taveng and Andoung Meas districts in northeastern province took place lately under the chairmanship of Education Youth and Sport Under-Secretary of State H.E. Heang Si Ne.

Addressing the gathering, the under-secretary of state underlined that promoting quality education is not the responsibility of schools, teachers as well as the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport alone.

“It demands hard work and participation of students themselves, parents, and the community at large,” said H.E. Heang Si Ne, adding that with broader access to smart phone and internet connection in Cambodia, students and parents should take advantage of the technology such as online learning resources and applications.

He encouraged parent-teacher forum at least twice a year in order to better engage the key stakeholder in following up the progress of student performance.

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Made possible by joint financing of a global programme to promote education called Educate A Child (EAC) through Aid et Action and Plan International Cambodia, the existence of the new school buildings are expected to boost powerful educational consequence among some 1,000 school children every year from now, according to education project officer Mr. Pann Savath.

“To start with, the facilities have increased an average of 30 percent of this year’s primary enrollment rates in the two schools, because of more favourable classroom setting and new learning facilities attracting parents and primary school beginners and dropout during the previous years,” he said.

Before the presence of the school buildings, primary school students had to share limited number of old lower-secondary classrooms, making the learning setting too crowded, unmanageable and less interesting. As a result, many left school early.

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Figure from Ratanak Kiri Provincial Department of Education Youth and Sport indicates that, the province currently has 206 primary schools serving over 37,000 students – 48% of them are girls. There are a total of 1,422 education staff, of them 536 are female.

Within the past months of 2017, 394 school buildings of 265 classrooms for all levels have been constructed and 45 of the buildings were supported by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and Samdech Kittiprittbandit Bun Rany Hun Sen.

H.E. Heang Si Ne ended his remark during the event with his call for more concentration of teachers in their work, as their monthly wage as well as other benefits have been significantly improved – thanks to the on-going reform by the Royal Government of Cambodia.

High-Level Visit to Communities with Exemplary Sanitation Performance

by Mom Chantara Soleil and Yoeun Phary

Home to almost 60,000 Cambodians, Svay Teab district of South-eastern Svay Rieng province outdoes its peers across the Kingdom in terms of promoting household latrine use. As it will soon claim itself as Cambodia’s second district with open defecation free, a high-level visit has been organised to see its exemplary performance.

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Ministry of Rural Development, Plan International Cambodia and local partners – key catalysts behind Svay Teab’s achievement through the implementation of the so-called Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (#CRSHIP) – hosted the visit intending to bring the post-project implementation impacts of the sanitation intervention to light so as the rest can follow the footsteps.

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A delegation of Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Yim Chhay Ly and concerned government bodies including Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), senior leadership of CRSHIP-funder the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) and Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), and representatives from other development partners joined the visit.

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“Access to sanitation is economically and socially important. While working hard to achieve national commitments in terms of rural sanitation and hygiene promotion, Cambodia also aligns our work with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations,” underlined H.E. Yim Chhay Ly during the visit.

Globally, diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death among children under five years old. Sanitation contributes significantly to child nutrition as well as their physical growth and cognitive development.

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One fifth of Cambodia’s child mortality is caused by diarrheal infections mainly driven by poor sanitation and the practice of open defecation. Diarrhea affects small children most.

According to the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2014, in Cambodia more than 32% of children under five years old are stunted, 24% underweight, and 10% wasted.

Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme is one of the main solutions to address the said issues. During its first phrase implementation, known as CRSHIP1, from 2011-2015, over 600,000 people (about 50% of them are children) especially those poverty stricken and live remote communities, have successfully adopted the use of latrines.

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When CRSHIP1 ended in April 2016 the programme freed 756 villages, to be exact, in Takeo, Kandal, Kampong Speu, Kampong Cham and Svay Rieng from open defecation and villagers habituated better personal hygiene.

After the programme phase-out and remaining commitment was handed over to Provincial Department of Rural Development, use of household latrine and open-defecation free space continues to expand. The case of Svay Teab is the best example for this.

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“We are not only promoting the construction of household latrines, but also empowering rural communities to see the link between sanitation and health, to adopt positive behavior and to invest more to promote sustainable sanitation and hygiene,” WSSCC’s Executive Director Chris Williams who also attended the visit, adding that he is very proud of Cambodia’s participatory approach and achievement.

Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme is undergoing its second phase, called CRSHIP2, covering another five provinces of Cambodia: Kampot, Prey Veng, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom, and Kratie – where sanitation access is deprived most. More impacts of the work using community led total sanitation (CLTS) approach are being made.

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The Royal Government of Cambodia through the Ministry of Rural Development along with development partners has made remarkable progress in the area. As a result, nearly half of rural Cambodians are now having access to improved sanitation, compared to only 11% in 1990.

CRSHIP is committed to join hands with the government to reach its goal of ensuring 60% of Cambodians with access to improved sanitation across the country by 2018.

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It is anticipated that the high-level visit on Oct. 25-26 to witness outstanding performance of Svay Teab district will further encourage stronger participation among all stakeholders, including the indispensable power to voice the issues and to educate the public of the media, in order to fasten the realisation of open-defecation free Cambodia.

Why #GirlsTakeover

by Jan Jaap Kleinrensink — Country Director of Plan International Cambodia

Taking advantage of our 80-year grassroots experience, lessons learnt and successes; from 2007 to 2015, Plan International developed nine comprehensive studies (one issue a year) called State of the World’s Girls to highlight some of the challenges girls are facing and to use as evidence to advocate for positive change.

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These studies focused on a specific theme each year, such as: Girls in the Shadow of War, Girls in the Global Economy, Girls in a Changing Landscape of Digital and Urban Frontiers, Girls in Disasters, and Girls in Education.

As a result, the studies helped place girls’ issues firmly on the international agenda. Thanks to the initiative, the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 declared October 11 as International Day of the Girl. Indeed, it will be the seventh observance of the day tomorrow!

The mentioned studies shed light on 100 million challenges faced by girls and women who represent more than half of the world’s population.

To effectively address the issues, Plan International as a global organisation focusing on children’s rights and equality for girls puts forward two initiatives in 2016. Firstly, we practiced and called for the Counting of the Invisible. In other words, it is the urge to use data to transform the lives of girls and women. We are deeply convinced that the effort will contribute vitally to gender equality as a key objective committed in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our second initiative is called #GirlsTakeover, contextualised as #MeforMe. The commitment stands as a unique opportunity to come together behind a single action to promote leadership role models among girls so as to boost their visibility and create new opportunities, and to call for more actions and investment in girls.

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Creating role models among girls is not uncommon, but the #GirlsTakeover or #MeforMe initiative is extraordinary. It is special not only in the sense that it promotes girls and women in a leadership role, but it also injects practicality in achieving the dream. That is, helping them to formulate career planning to live up their dreams.

 

Last year when we started the #MeforMe activity, we have identified six girls from three provinces: Siem Reap, Tboung Khmum and Ratanak Kiri. It was quite modest. We only organised takeovers at the community level. To our pride, the achievement was astonishing – all girls engaged in the exercise got more inspired to pursue their dreams and have been applying their career planning we helped them to develop in order to achieve the dreams.

At Tboung Khmum, Chandeth who dreams to be a health centre director and Sreyroth who wants to become a secondary school director are continuing their study at universities toward achieving their ambition. In Siem Reap, Sapheat and Sreyneang completed their high school last month. They are preparing themselves for entrance exams to university to become health centre director and primary school principal respectively. The girls at Ratanak Kiri, Chankwi and Phaly who want to become police chief and health center director still have one more year to complete their high school degree. I am convinced that, with concrete and detailed career plans, all of them will reach their destinations.

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Along with 60 other Plan International countries, this year, Plan International Cambodia is very privileged to have the Minister of Education Youth and Sport H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron (taken over by 18-year-old Chanky), Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC) Professor Dr. Sok Uttara (taken over by 16-year-old Phatt), and Prudential Cambodia’s Head of Brand & Communications Ms. Un Bophany (taken over by 16-year-old Lina) to join us introducing the first-ever country level takeover exercise.

The girls, along with 14-year-old Sithong who took over myself as Country Director of Plan International Cambodia, traveled all the way from remote villages of Siem Reap with commitment and enthusiasm to follow the footsteps of their role models.

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DJ Nana said two months ago when we announced her as Honorary Ambassador of Plan International Cambodia: “Dare to dream. It’s not important if your dream is understood. And be persistent. We are at least ten times more potential than we think we are.” – the message that touches the heart of girls and inspire them to fly.

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While Chanky, Lina, Phatt and Sithong are following the footsteps of their role models in Phnom Penh, there are between 5 to 11 other girls doing similar experience at each of four targeted provinces of Plan International Cambodia as well as hundreds of other girls across the globe.

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Although conversations on gender equality are beginning to break through into the mainstream, progress and actions to bring about change are still slow, not only in Cambodia but also in other countries.

Plan International is so convinced that we have now reached a point where gender equality desperately needs a political and social turnaround – giving girls the authority and permission to be thought of as equals is not (and will never be) enough. Action will speak louder than words.

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That’s why the #GirlsTakeover or #MeforMe actions taking place across the world to cheer the 11 October – the International Day of the Girl, is so important. For one day a year, we give girls a platform to shout, stomp and scream about what it is really like to be a girl in our current world. We support girls takeover positions of power to highlight the inequalities that curtail their education, the barriers that limit their careers, their freedom of expression and the violence that for many of them is frighteningly routine.

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The takeover of leadership roles is also an opportunity to showcase the power of girls. It is a chance for girls to share their hopes for the future, and to wake people up to what we’re. When girls get the same opportunities and choices in life as their male peers, they can transform their lives their communities and the world.

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The gender equality effort continues to whisper. It’s up to all of us to turn this whisper into a roar. That’s why, your contribution to this event is indispensable. And our journey will go on.

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(Photos are credited to Yoeun Phary and Ath Chhun Muoy)

 

Young Bamboos: First-ever in Stung Treng

By Jan Jaap Kleinrensink, Country Director of Plan International Cambodia

A Cambodian saying puts it quite well that Tompang Snong Reusey, meaning bamboo-shoots or young bamboos grow up to be bamboos. The question is how to ensure that Cambodia’s young bamboos are healthy and ready to be strong bamboos in the future.

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Despite all the hard work by the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as development partners, there are still young bamboos or small children left behind, being threatened by lack of early childhood care and development services – not appropriately equipped to be the next strong bamboos or leadership of next generation of the nation.

According to the latest available national figures, about 64% of children aged 5 are going or having access to preschool, while only 28% and 20% of children aged 4 and 3 respectively are.

For Stung Treng province, based on the provincial statistics, about 41% of children under the age of six are having access to the early childhood care and development services, and more than half of them are girls.

As underscored in the document, Thalabarivat and Siem Pang districts, at which Plan International is targeting, are among the districts with least access to the services. About 16% between three and under-six years old are going to state and community preschools supported by UNICEF and Global Partnership for Education. The remaining 83% do not receive proper care and stimulation learning, indispensable for them to reach their development potential.

Access to proper care and stimulation learning is a primary right of children – the young bamboos!

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Thanks to the good cooperation with the government counterpart at all levels, continuing trust and support from donors, intimate partnership with local experts, and commitment of staff, Plan International is currently supporting 520 community and state-preschools and classrooms in three target provinces, namely Siem Reap, Tboung Khmum and Ratanak Kiri.

Most of the interventions are integrated with nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene so that the preschool-aged children are healthy, well concentrating and productive at the preschools. To our pride, over 1,500 parents are not only supporting the service at the preschools and stimulating learning at home, but also taking ownership with local authorities to sustain the work.

The Young Bamboo project being launched recently is made possible by the funding assistance from Engelhardt. Lasting for three years, until June 2020, the project will be implemented by Plan International Cambodia and partner organisation Wathanakpheap.

The intervention will promote integrated Early Childhood Care and Development service among the most vulnerable children, particularly indigenous ethnic minority, the poorest, most marginalised and those with disability in 20 deprived villages in Thalabarivat and Siem Pang districts of Stung Treng province.

Strengthening the service is key to achieving at least seven of the Sustainable Development Goals on poverty, hunger, health (including child mortality), education, gender, water and sanitation, and inequality. It thereby sits in a priority agenda of the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports.

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Globally, Plan International has been existing for more than 80 years and is now operating in 71 countries. Fifteen years old in Cambodia, Plan International is implementing its third five-year country strategic plan running until 2021. Centering on our vision to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls, our priority areas are early childhood care and development, child protection, water sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and basic education (including technical vocational education and training).

Without continuing strong cooperation with the government counterpart, donors, communities and partners, our journey would not have come this long.

 

(Photos taken by Ms. Ath Chhun Muoy)

Plan International Cambodia on WASH

by Jan Jaap Kleinrensink, Country Director of Plan International Cambodia

Lack of access to quality water, sanitation and hygiene is largely a rural problem in many countries, not only Cambodia. Potentially, remote rural areas are the most vulnerable to the issues.

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Few months back, one out of twelve students at a primary school in O’Chum, a new target district of Plan International Cambodia in Ratanak Kiri province, claimed to have a latrine at home. The rest hesitantly told that they wanted one. Despite this, all of the students are learning to use the WASH facilities at their school and of course practicing hand-washing, thanks to continuous guidance by the teachers. The fact that they were enjoying with the facilities at school is a factor that drives my optimism of our endeavor to promote rural water, sanitation and hygiene.

Promoting sustainable clean water and sanitation access and hygienic practice is not only about ensuring availability and affordability of the equipment and materials to construct or rehabilitate the facilities, but also about striving to get the community convinced and to act on it for a justifiable reason. This needs logical and contextualized justification and a lot of hard work.

Every year, globally, millions of people die from diseases caused by inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. Other than pneumonia, diarrhea is the main cause of death in children under age 5. Studies show that defecating in the toilet and hygienic practice as simple as proper and consistent hand-washing during critical times have saved most lives.

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Open defecation free, moreover, are a prerequisite for clean, healthy household and living environments. They are also essential to safeguard environmental quality more broadly, especially the quality of water resources. Sanitation and hygiene facilities save people’s time. That is, they do not lose time to illnesses, caring for the sick and seeking somewhere private and safe to defecate.

With this in mind, Plan International Cambodia since the rollout of our third five-year Country Strategic Plan 2016-2021, have achieved open defecation free (ODF) in 800 villages in current twelve target provinces through the community-led total sanitation (CLTS) approach. Over 130 wells, 65 water purifying systems and 700 latrines and group hand washing facilities have been constructed, installed and rehabilitated at school.

Specifically for the remote northeastern region, we have been implementing water, sanitation and hygiene projects in 72 villages in three districts in Ratanak Kiri province and 40 villages in 2 districts in Stung Treng province. As a result, we have achieved open defecation free status in 25 villages, around 100 new WASH facilities have been constructed and rehabilitated in these target villages, including at schools. As planned, we will scale up WASH projects to 170 villages in these two provinces in the next three years.

Leaving no one behind is the theme for the United Nations new development agenda, so-called sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Effort to promote lasting access to sanitation and hygiene is vital in determining successful delivery of Sustainable Development Goal 6 “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.

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Let me take this opportunity to express my profound thanks to the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as the Ministry and Departments of Rural Development, donors, concerned local authorities, partners, and the communities themselves for all the good cooperation and support. Our achievements have continued to build firm foundation for improving the health and well-being of Cambodia’s most vulnerable. Indeed, water, sanitation and hygiene access is a fundamental right of humans as well as children.

Our journey is going on. Nevertheless, we need more inclusive engagement of especially the voiceless and vulnerable, including the hard-to-reach-group, in our programme cycle so that they can contribute to further enhance the quality of our intervention.

There is a moral, civil, political and economic need to bring adequate quality water, sanitation and proper hygiene to Cambodian population!

Poor sanitation cripples national development: workers and farmers produce less, live shorter lives, save and invest less, and more worryingly are less able to send their children to school. As more-than-80-years-old child right organization that thrives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls, adequate sanitation and hygiene for all, in particular those in remote areas like Ratanak Kiri and Stung Treng remain in our scope of priority.

I strongly believe that with more inclusive, community-led approach, top-down and bottom up approach, we will significantly contribute to the commitment of the Royal Government of Cambodia to reach its goal of ensuring 100% of Cambodians with access to improved sanitation across the country by 2025.