សេចក្តីបំភ្លឺដោយអង្គារភ្លែនអន្តរជាតិកម្ពុជា

[English below]

ខាងក្រោមជាសេចក្តីបំភ្លឺដោយអង្គការភ្លែនអន្តរជាតិកម្ពុជា ដល់វិទ្យុអាស៊ីសេរី

អង្គការភ្លែនអន្តរជាតិកម្ពុជាសូមថ្លែងអំណគុណដល់វិទ្យុអាស៊ីសេរី ក្នុងការផ្សព្វផ្សាយការងារឆ្លើយតបនឹងគ្រោះមហន្តរាយរបស់អង្គការ (សូមអានទីនេះ http://www.rfa.org/khmer/news/politics/rkiri-authorities-accused-of-discrimination-07022016071202.html)។ បន្ថែមលើ កិច្ចសន្ទនាផ្ទាល់មាត់ និង អ៊ីម៉ែល ផ្ញើជួនលោក រដ្ឋា វិសាល អង្គការភ្លែនអន្តរជាតិកម្ពុជាសូមបញ្ជាក់បន្ថែមដូចខាងក្រោម៖

 

ខ្លឹមសារដើមពីព័ត៏មានវិទ្យុអាស៊ីសេរី

សេចក្តីបំភ្លឺ

…ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋមាននិន្នាការគាំទ្រគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ ក្នុងភូមិកាឡៃតាវងមិនទទួលបានអំណោយមនុស្សធម៌ដែលអាជ្ញាធរស្រុកចែកជូនបើទោះបីប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្លះស្ថិតនៅក្នុងសភាពជាអ្នកក្រីក្រក្តី។… អង្គការភ្លែនអន្តរជាតិកម្ពុជា បានព្រមព្រៀងគ្នាជាមួយអជ្ញាធរមូលដ្ឋានតាំងពីមុនចាប់ផ្តើមចែកសម្ភារៈជំនួយ អំពីលក្ខខ័ណ្ឌសម្រាប់អ្នកដែលត្រូវទទួល ដែលរួមមាន៖

·  ពួកគាត់ត្រូវតែជាគ្រួសារស្ថិតក្នុងស្ថានភាពក្រីក្រប្រភេទទី១ និងទី២

·   ពួកគាត់មានការលំបាកក្នុងការទទួលបានទឹកស្អាតប្រើប្រាស់ ដូចជាត្រូវពឹងលើទឹកទន្លេ ឬទឹករណ្តៅ។

 

សម្ភារៈជំនួយប្រហែលជាមិនគ្រប់គ្រាន់សម្រាប់បំពេញតម្រូវការគ្រប់គ្នាទេ។ ទោះជាយ៉ាងណាក្តី ការខ្វះចន្លោះនេះ មិនទាក់ទងនឹងការរើសអើងសាសនា ឬនយោបាយសោះឡើយ។

 

………ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋភូមិកាឡៃតាវង លោក ប្រានាង កាន់ថៃ កត់សំគាល់ថា ប្រធានភូមិកាឡៃតាវង លោក ខង សេវ ខណៈចុះស្រង់ឈ្មោះប្រជាពលរដ្ឋក្រីក្រដើម្បីដាក់ក្នុងបញ្ជីឈ្មោះទទួលអំណោយ លោកបានព្រមានអ្នកភូមិថា នឹងមិនផ្ដល់អំណោយឲ្យប្រជាពលរដ្ឋជាសមាជិកគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ នោះទេ។…….. លោក មេភូមិ កាឡៃតាវង បានបញ្ជាក់ច្បាស់ថា គាត់មិនបានព្រមានដូច្នេះទេ។

 

Below is a clarification by Plan International Cambodia to Radio Free Asia (RFA):

Plan International Cambodia thanks the Radio Free Asia for covering the organization’s recent disaster response activity (please read the details at http://www.rfa.org/khmer/news/politics/rkiri-authorities-accused-of-discrimination-07022016071202.html). In addition to phone communication and email to the radio’s reporter Mr. Ratha Visal, Plan International Cambodia would like to make some clarification as below:

RFA report (translated into English)

Clarification

“…the villager supporting the CNRP in Kalay Tavong village had not received humanitarian assistance dispatched by the district authority although some of the villagers are in poverty.” Plan International Cambodia agreed with the local authority about the criteria in dispatching the assistance items as following:

·  Families in poor 1 and 2 categories

·  They have difficult access to water, such as depending on unclean river water or hand-made underground water sources

 

Our response may not cover all the needs. However, the gap happens to both ruling, position and other parties (the local authorities have the figures) as political and religious affiliation is NOT the foundation of our work.

 

“People in Kalay Tavong village Praneang Kann Thai noticed that Kalay Tavong village leader Khong Sev warned his villagers while he was registering the name of those to receive the assistance that those who support the CNRP would not be given the assistance.” The Village Leader reassured Plan International Cambodia that he did not make any warning as such.

 

 

 

Child and Youth Led Show to Promote Schooling and Non-Violence Households

by Mom Chantara Soleil

A group of 18 children and youth recently surprised their community with educational concert and performance to discourage domestic violence and school dropouts and to raise fund to support the most vulnerable.

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Approximately 300 dwellers in Run Ta Ek commune, Banteay Srey district of Siem Reap province crowded for the youth and child led educational concert and performance called BellSound, at local pagoda, Wat Run, where they subconsciously shared laughter and tears.

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“I am so amazed by the performance of the kids in our community. I am proud. I did not expect they are so talented. Participants including myself were laughed and cried by the show,” said Mrs. Nith Kim Leang, Run Ta Ek commune councilor in charge of women and children’s affairs.

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Lasting from 8:00 to 10:00 PM, the show incorporated traditional dances, lip-syncing, signing and drama along with key messages to promote schooling and discourage dropouts and domestic violence.

Ms. Pork Phoun, 19, is a leader of the child and youth group shared that, “We are so happy with the support from the local authorities and people here. And we are highly motivated by the large crowd at our show.”

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The young talents who lead the educational concert and performance emerged from the child club structure facilitated by Plan International Cambodia and partner Legal Aid of Cambodia through the funding support of the European Union.

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“We trained them with very basic skills. But they bought DVD’s and work among themselves to sharpen the skills. They initiated the whole performance by themselves,” said Mr. Huot Sahorn, official in charge of the community.

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At the end of the performance, Ms. Pok Phon announced the mobilized fund of over 120,000 riels [approximately US$30] from the donation of the participants and that the amount will be used to support very poor students to continue their education.

Community Volunteers of the Year

by Mom Chantara Soleil (with support from Kiv Phearun and Samreth Amara)

Two young ladies were recognized as outstanding community volunteers to welcome the recently passed Khmer New Year for selflessly promoting the development work in Srei Snam district of Siem Reap province.

Ms. Tol Solean, 29 years old has been handling humble survival occupations as rice farmer and poultry grower, while volunteering as community preschool teacher and cashier of village saving group.

Solean

Another lady, 27-year-old Ms. Hoeuy Leum has been serving as community preschool teacher, village health focal point, and saving group and school support committee member, despite the fact that she is not well-off and has big family to take care of.

Leun

The voluntary works do not tangibly improve their living condition, yet are making them busier. However, they said the services make them happier and allow them feel that their lives are more meaningful.

“A lot of people in the community know me. They respect and trust me, though for some I am younger. When I speak they listen to me. I feel this is more important than having a lot of money. Sometimes they share food with me, too,” said Ms. Solean.

There are some challenges, but Ms. Leum sees the positive side of the task: “When they have problems, even at night time, the community people come and awake me. I see them crying. I see those in debts. There are many issues. I do what I can do. As I can succeed in some cases, this inspire me. I walk pass their house, everyone greets me.”

According to Mr. Kiv Phearun, community official in charge of the district, it is important to recognize development enabler from the community themselves. The role of NGOs is not permanent, but communities need continuous development although without NGOs. Community volunteers will take over the NGOs role when the NGOs are gone.

The recognition of outstanding community volunteers is being piloted by Plan International Cambodia in Srei Snam district, kick-starting in a coincidence with the country’s New Year celebration.

 

More Community Preschools Opened in Ratanak Kiri

by Mom Chantara Soleil​

Almost 1,000 children, of them about 43% are female, aged from 3-5 years are attending 33 community preschools in three districts of Ratanak Kiri officially opened lately.

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With over 500 participating children, parents, local authorities and relevant development officials, the inauguration was presided over by Provincial Governor H.E. Thong Savorn, Ambassador of the European Union to Cambodia H.E. George Edgar, and Country Director of Plan International Cambodia Mr. Jan Jaap Kleinrensink.

According to Mr. Jan Jaap Kleinrensink, the preschool facilities are part of the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programme carried out in 47 villages of 9 communes in Veun Sai, Ta Veaeng, and Andoung Meas districts of highland Ratanak Kiri province, more than 75% of its population are indigenous ethnic minorities.

Small 5

In his remark, H.E. George Edgar underlined that allowing preschool access among small children is the best investment for parents, the communities and the society as a whole. Children with the access are likely to go on to do better at primary and secondary school – a stepping stone for them to achieve highest potential in life and access useful skill for future employment.

The recent Education Congress 2015-2016 indicated that over 30% of small children aged from 3 to 5 years in Ratanak Kiri, compared to approximately 46% nationally, are attending preschools. This is an encouraging improvement from 2011, wherein only around 10% had the preschool access.

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“Without on-going contribution of donors, communities themselves, local authorities and our partners as well as other stakeholders, we would not have been where we are now and the project’s sustainability will be at risk. Our approach is to ensure that the communities here are taking the lead in both identifying their needs and addressing them,” said Mr. Jan Jaap Kleinrensink.

He added: “Let’s continue to work hard together to bring small child development work here to a higher level.”

The European Union and Plan International Belgium and Germany have been funding the mentioned interventions to improve the realization of children’s right to education in order to promote a more equitable and democratic society in Cambodia.

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Supported by the Provincial Department of Education Youth and Sport, the project is implemented by Plan International Cambodia in partnership with local NGOs Bondos Komar and Kousar Yoeung Association.

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“Our indigenous minority people here also want to have decent jobs. We don’t want to work under the sun all day with little income. So, let’s continue to develop our human resource and sustain the assistance from our development partners,” remarked H.E. Thong Savorn.

[Photos by Tiep Seiha]

End Ambassador visit

Children Take the Lead in Assessing Development Impacts on Them

by Mom Chantara Soleil

Of their community’s pride and joy, ten high-school teenagers in Angkor Chum district of Siem Reap province have been recognized recently as the firsts in the province, if not the country, for having successfully led a study on the progress in addressing challenges girls face in accessing quality education.

“In particular, the complete child-led process of the study is considered an outstanding example, not only for Cambodia, but also other countries promoting high level of child participation as such,” said Mr. Thap Ky Heu, Monitoring and Evaluation Official in charge of the study.

In May 2014, he added, a new Outcome Monitoring System (OMS) was launched across the seven countries, including Cambodia, Mali, Malawi, Kenya, Pakistan, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. The more child-centred study for development interventions to address children’s issues have been considered as one of the most accurate assessment tools.

Through a Programme Partnership Agreement (PPA) supported by the Department for International Development (DFID) and Plan International United Kingdom and Cambodia, the tool was piloted successfully with ten high school goers, half of them are girls, in Angkor Chum district.

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“I am so surprised to learn that, the result of the study is widely recognized. It was published in different forms with credit to all of us,” said Khum Douey, 17, adding that at first he and his team were not confident if they could lead the work.

The exercise turned out to be so simple but helpful. Only children know their issues better, ironically, ensuring meaningful engagement of children has been a challenge for child rights promotion activities.

The success accordingly proves to be a breakthrough. The ten child evaluators were officially recognized by the local authority and development counterpart.

Royal Government of Cambodia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on October 15, 1992 and has been supporting all endeavour to promote child participation as enshrined in the document.

Child led evaluation

Investment on Safe Water and Sanitation in Ratanak Kiri Progressing

by Mom Chantara Soleil

Like time, effort to promote safe water and sanitation in high-land Ratanak Kiri province progresses, even more aggressively for 2016; and the optimism of the outlook is based on the latest investment to ensure the access at schools and communities in its suburban Oh Chum district.

The joint commitment among the Provincial Development of Rural Development, Plan International and Unicef, officially launched on January 18, will liberate over 2,000 families or some 10,880 people (about 51% are female), ten schools and around 1,000 students from safe water and sanitation deprivation.

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According to Ms. Chhim Chan Sovanna from the Rural Health Care Department, Ministry of Rural Development, a large proportion of diseases in Ratanak Kiri are water-borne which is caused by a lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. About 16% of children living in Ratanak Kiri are susceptible to episodes of diarrhoea which is higher than children living in other provinces of Cambodia.

A study by World Bank suggests that one dollar spent on improving sanitation and hygiene can generate nine dollars of benefits to the national economy. In other words, investing in promoting water, sanitation and hygiene bring massive savings in health care costs and averting sickness and death. It improves school attendance and enables children, especially girls, to stay at school and finish their education.

Cambodia Inter-Censal Population Survey 2014 reports that about 46% of the rural population have access to improved sanitation and 51% of rural people have access to improved water supply.

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In Ratanak Kiri around 22% of the population have access to improved latrines and 51% have access to improved water supply.

Approximately 78% of primary schools in rural areas, including those in Ratanak Kiri, have no access to improved water supply and 57% to improved sanitation facilities.

Lasting for 15 months, the project is funded by Plan International USA and Unicef.

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“In addition to the construction of latrines and water points, our aim is that at the end of the day, targeted adults and children in our communities and at schools will adopt the use of latrine, wash their hands with soaps at critical times, and drink treated water and ensure safe storage of the water,” said Water Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist Mr. Hang Hybunna.

Cambodia Launched Its First National Plan of Actions for Child Development

by Mom Chantara Soleil

Cambodia National Council for Children (CNCC) on January 18 launched a national plan of actions for child development 2016-2018 at its office here in Phnom Penh.

“The launch of this plan aims to build greater understanding of ministries, institutions, development partners and private sectors,” addressed H.E. Vong Sauth – Social Affairs, Veteran and Rehabilitation Minister and President of CNCC.

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Presided over by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Assembly-Senate Relation and Inspection H.E. Men Sam An, launch of first-ever action plan of its kind for Cambodia was attended by some 300 concerned government officials, journalists, children themselves, and representatives from like-minded development agencies.

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With assistance from the European Union, the Cambodia National Council for Children in cooperation with Plan International Cambodia have worked on the action plan since 2012 to promote children’s welfare as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child ratified by the Royal Government of Cambodia in 2012.

According to H.E. Vong Sauth, all stakeholders can use the actions in the national plan to incorporate into their own sectoral operational plan in order to further enhance and protect child rights in Cambodia.

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“We hope that the alignment with actions in the plan by relevant players will bring about smooth implementation and more effective and efficient results supportive and enabling for the children,” said Jan Jaap Kleinrensink, Country Director of Plan International Cambodia.

Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An appreciated the achievement of CNCC in collaboration with Plan International Cambodia and other counterparts, and encouraged more collaboration and initiatives to better the next generations.