For 25 years, Pour un Sourire d'Enfant (PSE) has been working with the poorest children in Cambodia to lift them out of destitution and support them to find a qualified, dignified and well-paid job.
Six primary programmes have been developed to meet the needs of children: schooling/education, vocational training, food, healthcare, protection and family support.
The children and families cared for by the association are selected by a team, made up of around thirty social workers. They meet families at home and carry out a social survey to ensure priority is given to They continue to assess their situation, regularly intervene to support them during emergencies. PSE also takes care of all the siblings in a family.
Every year, 6,500 children are taken care of in PSE’s programmes. More than 5,000 alumni are now working in a decently paid job.
Cambodia has developed rapidly over the past 20 years. However, it’s unevenly spread which has led to a sharp increase in the cost of living that the poorest families cannot keep up with. The children and families helped by PSE live in areas of extreme poverty, pushed further and further out from the centre of the capital where they come to try to find work. They try to survive by doing low-paid jobs. This is why PSE's work is essential: only education can lift the children of these poor families out of poverty.
For us, the teachers at PSE, it's really important to see our students in beautiful classrooms like these. Because the children do not always live in nice places, but at least they have a nice school. And that is important for them! I think it motivates them even more to come to PSE to study. Thank you ICAP for your generosity and for allowing PSE to continue to be a true machine to destroy poverty!Koeun Dany, Physics teacher
The buildings used by the children in PSE’s remedial school were built almost 25 years ago from wood, the cheapest material available at the time. The old classrooms had become dilapidated, attacked by termites and were located on land that flooded each rainy season.
PSE had to demolish them, clean up and fill in the land, then rebuild and expand their capacity.
With the support from ICAP Charity Day 2019, PSE built two new buildings in 2020. The 40 classrooms have internet access to allow teachers to use a variety of teaching methods and 28 of them are equipped with video projectors. Two other rooms are being converted into science laboratories with water, electricity and gas, all to European safety standards. The new buildings also include an open plan space for the school's teaching and administrative staff.
Outside, a water retention basin has been constructed so that children will no longer find themselves with their feet in water during the rainy season. Green spaces have been established.
These new classrooms allow PSE to welcome the children to school in the best possible conditions. Thanks to the education they receive, both academic and soft skills, they can build a better future.
Education is at risk during the Covid-19 crisis: PSE's immediate response
In Cambodia, schools were closed from mid-March to the end of September 2020. From October to December, they experienced alternating periods of re-opening and re-closing which has continued into 2021.
To limit the terrible impact of the school closures on the children, the PSE team sets up a weekly distribution and collection of homework, prepared and corrected by the teachers. Each week, the children meet with their teachers.
In January 2021, for the start of the new school year, the children had the joy of entering their new classrooms!
With social distancing requirements reducing class sizes, PSE have been able to welcome our children back thanks to the extra capacity the classrooms have provided.