The EXO Foundation team will participate in the Angkor Half-Marathon taking place on December 2nd., we will contribute to Angkor Marathon fund raising event and are calling for your generosity to support the Cambodian project Mith Samlanh – Club Friends, which we have chosen this year for their efficiency and consistent contribution to Cambodia.
In Cambodia, according to the figures accepted by UNICEF, there are between 10,000 and 20,000 Street Working Children. Children end up on the street for many reasons including poverty, domestic violence and family breakdown. Increasingly, HIV/AIDS within families is a new and alarming factor: in 2002 40% of new cases of street working children were due to HIV/AIDS in the family. There were 52,000 Children (0-14) orphaned by AIDS in 2001, and the disease is still a major cause of death in the country. Club Friends is a sports and cultural activities hall which welcomes on average 400 street children and youth per week and 800-1,000 students and trainees every day.
Their objective is to engage children and youth in cultural and recreational activities that build confidence and self-esteem, and familiarize them with learning processes, meant to provide them, through games and team activities, a comprehensive education and personal development. Street kids are intimidated and are often not structured enough to be able to engage in the education process. After being introduced to Club Friends services, in a creative and fun environment away from the classroom, they often become interested in Mith Samlanh’s vocational training and educational programs.
Club Friends therefore provides a transition from street life to formal educational classes and helps them to start planning for a future away from street life and making necessary decisive changes. For current students and trainees, the hall provides a break from studying where they can play, access the library, or partake in dance or art activities.
At Club Friends, social workers ,teachers and supervisors engage children in self-expression activities through arts and crafts, modern and traditional dance, reading, theater, and sports. MS staff have observed that participation in such activities builds confidence and self-esteem in children and youth; improving their ability to commit to education and training.
Quarterly performance shows (up to 300 children and youth perform) are held at the hall for children and parents, which is a unique occasion for the Mith Samlanh team to reinforce links with the various communities the children come from. The Mith Samlanh (MS) program was founded in 1994 by Friends-International, with the objective of protecting street children, their families and their communities in Cambodia and supporting their reintegration into Cambodian society. Mith Samlanh (MS) has become a recognized best practice model and is a training resource both for the Cambodian Government and numerous NGOs (MS was the first Cambodian NGO to receive the NGO Good Practice Project Award in 2007 and 2011, a 3–year certification by the NGO Code Compliance Committee, Cambodia). Since its establishment, Mith Samlanh has supported over 5,000 children to stop working and or living on the streets and to engage in a sustainable educational process. Friends was designated as one of the Best 100 World NGO in 2012.
Mith Samlanh needs urgent funding in order to continue its services at Club Friends, $45,000 per year are required.
To support this important initiative, please visit the donation page by clicking here and select “Mit Samlanh – Club Friends”
French donors may donate through EXO Foundation representative office and partner in France SolARE. Contact [email protected]
List of donors will be published on line.