Summary of Activities:
“House for Youth Battambang” residential care for youths at risk with vocational training, formal, and non-formal education.
Vocational Training workshops (silk, rattan craft, sewing, computer) in Battambang.
Education, vocational training, and legal assistance to minor detainees at two state prisons.
House for Youth
Cambodia has a long history of foreign domination. After independence from France in 1953, civil war continued until 1991. Many refugees are still attempting to rebuild their lives. Cambodia's economy is among the poorest countries in Asia and is mostly dependent upon aid from other countries. Thus child labor and human trafficking have become common forms of income for poor families. Many children end up living alone on the street.
Many times when these children receive temporary foreign aid, they must return to living in the streets. So to fulfill true independence for these children, KnK established a self-support facility called “House for Youth” in Battambang in 2000.
Today, by providing opportunities for vocational training and education in a safe environment KnK has been working to end the vicious cycle of poverty.
The House for Youth provides a safe place for trafficked and street children to stay and develop skill training for their lives as adults.? Education, both formal and informal, vocational training, and psychological care is provided to help these children and adolescents overcome past trauma and develop into independent adults.
As of January 2010, the house has had over 170 graduates from the program. A reunion is held twice a year. House for Youth is also a home that these graduates can revisit anytime.
House of Youth graduate Rowe, age 21: “A lot of kids like House for Youth because you can learn new technology and skills quickly. But often you only earn slightly more with vocational skills. So I'm studying to become a businessman in various schools."
With such a dream, Rowe studied hard for 6 years and learned to speak English. He has graduated high school and currently studies economics at University of Sam Riep.
Income Generation Activities
Vocational training teaches adolescents new skill, boosts their confidence, and can help lead to true independence. However, to fully benefit from these skill some type of employment is required. From silk training workshops, many House for Youth women can now weave and sew beautiful silk products. KO & Co. Fairtrade currently provides a Japanese market for these products. In addition, since 2008 there has also been multiple salon training workshops per year.
In Cambodia, due to lack of education and opportunities, many children turn to stealing for a living, staining their innocent hands. Incarcerated children receive little education, support, or any hope of escaping a life tarnished by crime. KnK works with two prisons in Cambodia, Battambang and Banteaimienchei to provide the following for imprisoned youth,
(1) informal education such as literacy and mathematics
(2) vocational training such as sewing and painting
(3) search for family support or provide support when there is none.