Sokhem Sibling School
In rural Sokhem Village in Cambodia, a place with very few economic opportunities, children are often left behind to fend for themselves as adults in most families cross the border into Thailand to search for work.
Children as young as 6 and 7 are charged with caring for their younger siblings in the parents’ absence, which frequently prevents them from attending school themselves. Not attending school also makes these children more vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking, both of which are sadly huge problems in Cambodia.
Educating children, especially girls, has been statistically shown to be a key force in lifting a community out of poverty. But how can these children attend school if they are responsible for caring for their younger siblings?
Once we recognized this problem, we began to dream big. What if we could build a child care facility for these younger siblings to allow their older siblings to attend school?
The idea we came up with is the Sokhem Sibling School. The Sokhem Sibling School is a safe day care program for infants and toddlers in a region infamous for child trafficking. Babies and younger children attending the Sibling School will get healthy nutrition and supervision while at the same time gives the older children in the village a chance to attend primary school without interruptions.
Instead of concentrating on childcare and adult responsibilities, they can focus on homework and their studies — and being kids themselves!
In addition, by hiring local women to serve as caregivers in the school, we are empowering them to stay in the community each day, rather than taking the risk to cross into Thailand, often illegally, where they face exploitation and abuse. This innovative program will impact the entire community from infants, to children, to parents.
Because this is such a large and important project, we are joining forces with an incredible organization called Somebody’s Mama to build the Sokhem Sibling School. LWB will cover the cost of the land, the foundation for the building, and the iron roof. Somebody’s Mama is working to raise the other half of the needed amount for key items such as doors, windows, bricks, electricity, a water tank, and toilets.
Get in on the ground floor as we launch this exciting program! Support LWB’s first Sibling School and help ensure that the most vulnerable babies and toddlers receive the safety and nurturing they deserve.