Sustainable Cambodia Australia
Sustainable Cambodia Australia (SCA) is an initiative of senior Rotarians from Districts 9465 and 9455 in Western Australia. We have been joined by other Rotary Clubs and Districts in Australia and from Canada, UK and France. We also count among our supporters Inner Wheelers our partners in Rotary, Rotary Youth Exchangees, RYLArians, ROTARacters and many, many private supporters. All non-Cambodians involved in SCA, including Board members and officers, are 100% volunteer, and pay their own travel or related expenses.
We currently empower rural villagers to create self-sustaining communities with clean water, wells, dams, ponds, pipelines, pumps, biosand filters, latrines, primary school buildings, preschools, school furniture, libraries, school books and teaching aids. If you look at our 2010 report you will see some of the self-help programmes we have undertaken, which the villagers themselves have prioritised and asked for our assistance with. We need more supporters so we can expand and do more!
SCA is committed to empowering communities through the self-help principle. It is their own community project, it is for them to decide which of their objectives shall be prioritised since we often have multiple wish lists, and it is for them to provide the labour. This is the basis upon which all self–help projects are accepted. It is the Cambodian villagers who must shoulder the work task and it is them who must accept the inevitability of taking control of their projects and maintaining their sustainability over the long term. SCA provides community training and maintenance courses by SC supervisors in health, education, farming, gardening, animals, fish, bees and water resources, pumps and wells, etc. for all of its projects.
Goals and focus areas
The goal of SCA is to meet the challenge set by Rotary International and the World Food Programme to lessen third world problems arising from abject poverty. We offered to collaborate with Sustainable Cambodia, a Rotary-sponsored self-help organization founded in and operating from Gainesville in Florida USA. We now find ourselves teamed with a group of truly dedicated people whose sole aim is the welfare of the gentle, kind yet desperately poor rural villagers in Pursat Province, Cambodia.
We ask our readers to view the following site for background on Pursat province : http://www.foodsecurityatlas.org/khm/country/provincial-Profile/Pursat
The Province of Pursat in Cambodia is singled out by the World Food Programme as one of the worlds poorest areas. The site goes on to list the statistics in, and show you the areas of Sampov Meas, Phnum Kravahn and Bakan Districts in Pursat Province. These figures will provide you with some of the worlds’ worst examples of malnutrition, underweight, stunting, and infant deaths, arising from the lack of clean water. These are some of the world’s poorest rural people. 50 % of their children are underweight and stunted. These devastating statistics were provided by WFP in 2006, little has changed in 2011. We do what we can but the problem is widespread and resources are limited. These are the districts in which SCA is working and we are making a difference.
Cambodia is one of our Asian neighbours and by far the poorest. This nation of 14.5 million people, still suffers the trauma brought about by the slaughter of more than 20% of the nation’s educated people, and the destruction of Cambodia rural village and family life by Pol Pot. The misguided ambitions of the Khmer Rouge still live on in the districts of Sampov Meas, Phnum Kravahn and Bakan, in Pursat Province.. It is here, among the last remnants of the Pol Pot minefields, where SCA is helping the local villagers and their children in so many small farming communities, to improve the quality of their daily existence and give the village people hope for a better future for themselves but moreso for their children.
There are two secondary/high schools supported by SC and SCA. One is in Pursat town (the Sylvia Lasky Memorial school with about 480 students) and another is in rural Kravanh (with about 500 students in the main school and 400 in outllying remote primary schools). Our supporters also fund ‘School life’ and ‘home life’ sponsorships for our students, and university scholarship subsidies for the best of our emerging scholars to attend a Cambodian University with a career subject of their choosing. Since inception SC and SCA have assisted 84 students through to university in Cambodia. 17 of these have obtained their degree and 67 are currently enrolled. We have a further 25 students seeking sponsors for university scholarships.
Our SCA high protein breakfast nutrition programme is a good example of humanitarian community service. The early morning gruel is prepared by the villagers, from vegetables grown from seeds provided by SCA, and fed to children at the preschool each school morning. in 2010 calendar year SCA fed 84,299 preschool meals to 314 children. In 2011 we expect this figure to increase substantially as more and more villagers experience the health benefits of the high protein food to their children and the improved benefits to the family income.
As a beneficial side effect to the nutrition programme the dynamic of the community is changed. As the preschool children learn social skills and the value of sharing and learning, the mothers of the village find that they are released from childminding and can help their families in the fields or take on work that will improve the family income. After two years the community takes control of the nutrition programme from SCA and it becomes sustainable, and part of the community culture. In 2011 SCA expects to begin another nutrition programme in Bakan District, as the one we have helped with is handed over to each of the individual seven preschool communities.
The pass-on animal programme is a good example of sustainability. It is designed to self propagate, spreading from village to village. As the animals bear their first progeny they are passed on to a pre-determined poor family and so on.
The long term focus of SCA, in partnership with SC, is to empower communities to spread this unique model throughout Cambodia and to ultimately help all rural Cambodians to transform their quality of life.
You can help by making a donation to assist our rural Cambodian villagers with providing a clean water well for a village, donate an animal to start a pass-on program, or a number of other seed donations, sponsor a student or provide a university scholarship.
Donation is by cheque or Australian postal order. Your donation should be made out to: “Rotary Australia World Community Service Project 39. Cambodia 2008-9 ”. If seeking tax deductibility for your donation please give us the name and address to send your receipt. Please post your donation to:
Sustainable Cambodia (Australia)
RAWCS Project 39
Rotary Western Australia
Shelley WA 6148 Australia
Sustainable Cambodia Australia can be contacted by Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone PDG Allan Lewins +61 (08) 9354 1910, or email our chairman, Geoff Richards at email@example.com