This Life Cambodia (TLC) believes that local communities are the experts in their own development. Established in 2007 and registered in Cambodia and Australia, TLC works with individuals, families and whole communities to help find opportunities in this life – not next life. TLC has grown from a small community development initiative with two staff into a registered NGO with four programs in three provinces and an expert team of 28 staff, 95% of whom are Cambodian.
What do they do?
TLC’s mission is to listen to, engage with and advocate alongside communities as they define and act on their own solutions. Each of TLC’s programs has been designed in response to needs identified by the communities in which they work and have clear entry and exit strategies that ensure interventions are sustainable and that decision-making rests in the hands of each community.
Education is key for a community to define their own solutions out of poverty, however only 35% of Cambodian children currently make it to lower secondary school (grades 7-9). With the Student Assistance Program, TLC provides the poorest students with scholarships to secondary school or university, bicycles to get there, solar lamps for studying at night, and internships at the TLC office.
TLC also works to build strong school communities in 2 rural public schools through the Lower Secondary School Development Program, empowering them to lead their own school development activities – anything from building school infrastructure to enrollment campaigns.
Another need identified through consultation with local communities is support for families with a family member in conflict with the law. This is particularly important for children, as there is no juvenile justice system in Cambodia. Through the This Life Beyond Bars program, TLC helps children who are in prison with adults for petty, poverty-driven crimes to prepare for their life beyond bars, by teaching them vocational skills and helping them stay connected with their families.
TLC believes in evidence based development practice, and so the Community Research and Consultancy Program monitors and evaluates each of the other programs. The team also conducts research about education, human rights and juvenile justice issues in Cambodia, in order to connect the voices of individuals, families and whole communities with policy makers.
How can you help?
Drop by the TLC office, where TLC’s staff of young professionals will share their own experiences of education and take you through an introduction to sustainable community development in Cambodia. This Life Cambodia office : 56, Group 10, Wat Bo Village, Sala Kamreuk Commune, Siem Reap.
- US$50 – 1 second hand bicycle for a lower secondary school student (grades 7-9) in a rural area to get to school and access their right to a public education
- US$100 – 1 month’s worth of much needed teaching and learning materials for a disadvantaged rural public school (specific needs are identified by each school, e.g. notebooks, science equipment, library books)
- US$150 – 1 year of support for an income generation activity for a family (vegetable growing, poultry raising, fish raising, pig raising, grocery shop…etc.)
- U$240 – 1 year of monthly visits to a family member in prison (transportation costs, food & accommodation family members)
- US$ 300 – 1 full year of lower secondary education for a disadvantaged but committed student