From destitution…to a vocation!
Pour un Sourire d’Enfant’s (PSE) mission is to help children escape from destitution and lead them to decent, skilled and well-paid jobs.
Each child must be allowed to develop healthily, both physically and psychologically, and must also be well-educated. Our aim is for them to become balanced and independent adults both socially and professionally.
To achieve this, six main programmes – adapted to the needs of the children – have been developed: food, health, protection, education & schooling, vocational training and help for families.
Food, Health & Protection
From the beginning of PSE, the children’s demand was simple: "One meal a day and to go to school!"
A child growing up on a dumpsite or in the street suffers from malnutrition and physical injuries. The first imperative is to feed and care for them.
Moreover, some children are in danger at home. It is therefore essential to protect them – they can become boarders in the Centre or be welcomed by a foster family.
The child can then go to school.
Education & Schooling
Each child is unique, with their own background, identity and achievements. It is therefore essential to personalise each development plan.
Our mission is to adapt to each child so they can progress at their own pace while ensuring they learn the basics.
To make this possible, some of our children attend remedial classes in the PSE centre in Phnom Penh, while the others are enrolled in public schools in partnership with PSE.
In case of difficulties, appropriate support is provided, including tutoring or the "Entre-deux" (bridging) programme that offers a second chance for students that have dropped out of school.
Currently, PSE educates more than 4,000 children, with the goal of making sure that all the children can move on to vocational training.
It quickly became apparent that schooling was not enough: to achieve the equivalent of a baccalauréat is useless if the children cannot then find work.
To escape from destitution, the youngsters need to be able to access the world of work, which in turn means they need high-quality vocational training.
Recognized by the Ministries of Education and Labour, the PSE Institute provides 20 courses organised into three schools: Hospitality, Management and Sales & Technical. Almost 1,500 young people are studying at the Institute.
From the very beginning, Christian and Marie-France des Pallières realised that having a child in school represented an important loss of revenue for the family, which did not benefit anymore from the meagre incomes generated by selling waste found on the dump. A compensation in rice was quickly implemented.
Several programmes have been developed from then on, offering emergency support to parents (rehousing for example) or short training courses to improve the quality of life of these families.
PSE is not only committed to the children, but also to acting responsibly in the country in which we operate, to donors and to volunteers.
PSE is apolitical and non-religious.
In all our actions, we ensure that children are treated equally, and that everyone has the right to love & affection, respect and access to the best as if they are our own children.