The rice-meals donations were distributed to programs in Cambodia connected to Don Bosco Technical & Hotel School Sihanoukville, Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh and Don Bosco Technical School Kep. Beneficiaries included 1,100 vocational and technical students at the schools who are studying to gain the skills needed for long-term employment. The Salesian schools provide technical skills training for young people from poor families and also offer boarding opportunities for those who find it difficult to rent a room on their own.
One of the rice-meals donation recipients, Sokkhin Chea, is a 20-year old student from Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh and is in her second-year studying computers. She has eight siblings and her father died when she was in the 12th grade. After finishing high school, Chea applied to Don Bosco Tech and requested to stay at its boarding house since she could not afford to live on her own or pay for her own meals. Before she came to Don Bosco Tech, Chea was working hard in the fields with her mother, brothers and sisters in order to have enough money for food and to be able to go to school. The feeding program and rice-meal donation are ensuring that Chea and students like her have the nutrition they need to focus on their studies.
The Don Bosco schools are providing technical education for poor youth in subjects including electrical, mechanical, welding, automotive, electronics, computer and information technology, printing, media communication, hospitality and tourism. After students graduate, they are qualified for jobs that offer a decent salary, allowing them to support themselves and their families and break the cycle of poverty.
“Rise Against Hunger meals are very important to our mission so we are able to reduce our expenses by not buying rice from local market,” explains Father Roel Soto, delegation superior of Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia and rector of Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh. “With this donation, we are able to use that funding for other necessary projects that provide us income in order to sustain our projects and upgrades for our training materials.”
Father Soto adds, “We are very proud of Sokkhin Chea because she has been chosen as a role model of being a good boarder student by her friends and her teachers.”
According to the World Bank, poverty continues to fall in Cambodia. In 2017, the poverty rate was close to 14 percent compared to 47.8 percent in 2007. About 90 percent of the poor live in the countryside. While Cambodia has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty in 2009, the vast majority of families who escaped poverty were only able to do so by a small margin. Around 4.5 million people remain near-poor, vulnerable to falling back into poverty when exposed to economic and other external challenges.
Source: Mission Newswire