We operate in Cambodia, mainly in the capital Phnom Penh and surrounding districts, but also in Sihanoukville and Siem Reap (Angkor).
Over 6,000 children are in our programmes, they come from extremely poor families, identified by our social services team.
These are child labourers, scavengers, street children, water spinach harvesters, stone breakers, school dropouts, abused or orphaned children primarily from families that live in precarious conditions in the slums around large cities.
We address all their needs including food, protection, education, healthcare and family support. We teach them a skilled trade so they can join mainstream Cambodian society.
Education in state schools
When the children do not have significant developmental delays and are not too far behind for their age (less than four years) we register them in their local state schools.
PSE provides school materials, uniforms, transportation (bus or bike), meals, school counselling to monitor attendance and grades. If required, additional tutoring is provided.
When necessary, we help schools, which are often overcrowded, so they can accommodate these children. We build additional classrooms or infirmaries, libraries, sports or sanitation facilities in schools with the greatest need. We also operate within the schools’ governance framework to ensure day-to-day management and facilities maintenance.
Accelerated education with PSE remedial school
Right from the beginning of our work with the children of the old Stung Mean Chey dumpsite, we implemented an accelerated learning curriculum for children who had dropped out of school for too long or who were too old to re-enter the regular school system.
In the remedial education school created in our Phnom Penh Centre, children pack two school years into one. Within three years, they can finish at the primary school education level. Based on lively and interactive classes, the method produces impressive results.
A method approved and adopted by the Cambodian Ministry
Today, nearly 20 percent of Cambodian children in primary schools are considered to be failing by the Ministry of Education.
Our remedial education methodology was recently accredited by the Cambodian Ministry of Education. As a result, the curriculum can be used in all state schools in Cambodia to benefit the largest number of children who are failing.
We are currently rolling out remedial classes in the state schools of five provinces in Cambodia (see "our projects"). We are doing this in close collaboration with the Ministry. It will benefit 6,000 children per annum.
With our support, several hundred children are enrolled in our programmes and benefit from the remedial curriculum in state schools.
Overall, in both normal and remedial classes, PSE supports the education of more than 4,000 children through its own school and state schools.
Special reading assistance
Too many schools have no library or have few books as well as lack a dedicated librarian. As reading is an essential part of education, we have set up a mobile library service in Phnom Penh and its surrounding districts that serves thirty schools and more than 100,000 children.
Our two "Smile Libraries" travel twice a month to each school, offering various reading activities, including story telling —to the delight of the children.
Children with disabilities
We welcome children with disabilities to the Adapted Teaching Section of our Phnom Penh Centre.
Children follow appropriate activities in classes organised by age group and intellectual ability. Each group has a dedicated teacher who is assisted by specialized teachers.
There are many shared activities with other children of the Centre to foster integration.
An education that incorporates the "human" part of growing up and promotes the development of children
Taking care of children as if they were our own involves the transmission of values and access to extra-curricular activities (sports, arts...)
The transmission of values
The Child, Future of the Country - Passion for Education - Protection of the Weakest - Commitment and Accountability - Striving for Excellence: these are the values that all our Cambodian staff are committed to.
This passion for education is also expressed through the "School of Life" training sessions in our Phnom Penh Centre, where we also welcome children from state schools to discuss themes such as respecting others, solidarity, environment... discussions and "hands on" activities are organized by age.
Sports play an important role at PSE. They contribute to the "revival" of children, allowing them to develop patience and tenacity, willpower, self-improvement, team spirit and initiative.
Beyond PE in schools, children participate in a variety of competitions (at the city, national and even international levels). They are dreaded opponents!
Basketball, hockey, soccer, track and field, taekwondo, rugby... our young people bring home many titles and medals!
Arts and culture
Equally important for helping these children flourish is encouraging a knowledge of their heritage and culture.
Traditional stories, Apsara “dances," theatre and folk dances are part of our educational programmes. They are another opportunity for children to shine during the beloved PSE festivals and celebrations.
Among other benefits, theatre enables them to act out or exorcise terrible memories that plague many of them (violence, alcoholism, prostitution...)
Drawing, painting and music allow children to express their creativity.