Project Khmer H.O.P.E. (PKH) was set up by St Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore in 2000 to share God’s love with poor and needy Cambodians by meeting their social and economic needs. PKH is an international non-governmental organisation registered in Cambodia, working in collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.
PKH’S Scope of Works
PKH works to give the poor a chance to break out of the poverty cycle. These services, aimed at transforming the lives of Cambodian children and youth, are provided free of charge:
- Residential Vocational Skills Training for poor youths (17 to 23 years old)
- Education for poor village children (6 to 15 years old)
- Childcare for orphans and disadvantaged children including street kids (6 to 18 years old)
Vocational Training for Poor Youths
Many Cambodian youths drop out of school because of poverty. They usually live at subsistence levels by working in the fields; quite a few of them have been driven to delinquency and drugs.
PKH works at transforming the lives of poor young men and women between the ages of 17 and 23 years. This is done by equipping them with vocational skills. Trainees are provided with lodging, food and vocational training at the PKH Centres, free of charge.
Tourism has been on the increase in Cambodia and PKH has chosen to give such youths a hope and future, by equipping them with skills to work in the hotel tourism industry. The 2-year programme comprises an intensive course in the first year to enable the youths to read, write and speak English, as well as to use the computer. A team of expatriate trainers conducts the training. This is followed by a 3-month industry attachment in the hotels.
Over the years more than 90% of these youths have gained employment in the tourist hubs of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. They work in the departments of Food and Beverage, Housekeeping and the Front Office of the hotels. Today, a number of them work in other countries like Korea, Dubai, Singapore, United States of America, and on board international cruise liners.
The Industrial Skills Course is for 1 year and it equips young men with the technical know-how for construction works and building maintenance. The skills taught include basic carpentry, brick-laying, plumbing, welding, electrical works, and the installation and maintenance of air-conditioners. They enable men to seek employment in the maintenance departments of hotels, construction and engineering firms.
With jobs, these young people are able to support themselves and also provide for their families in the provinces. They have a chance to break out of the poverty cycle.
Pastoral Guidance for Youths
As part of the overall development of the youths at the PKH Centres, recreational activities and Christian pastoral guidance are also offered during the weekends. These activities and sessions are organised by the Living Streams Youth Clubs. The Club aims at improving the social fabric of the community by building the lives and character of youths. There are youths who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ; they have had their lives transformed by the power of God’s love.
Education for Poor Village Children
Aoral is a place with one of the lowest literacy rates in Cambodia. Many children do not go to school as their parents cannot afford the cost of education. Furthermore, the schools in this remote district lack trained teachers and educational facilities.
PKH works to bring literacy to the minority communities of the tribal Suoy and Krung peoples living in Aoral District. It does this by providing education for 300 children from the villages of Chom Bok, Trang, Kordounthei and Tanil. These children attend classes at Chom Bok Primary School, as well as before-after school sessions at the PKH Centre in Trang; this is where they receive their meals, English tuition and lessons from God’s Word.
Childcare for Orphans and Disadvantaged Children
Seeds of Hope Childcare is PKH’s joint effort with another organisation, Full Gospel Assembly Cambodia (FGAC) to care for 100 poor and needy children from 6 to 18 years of age. Since 2001, PKH annually supports a third of these disadvantaged children.
The children are provided with a safe home at the FGAC Centre / Orphanage and with primary and secondary education at the nearby Hope School. Over the years, many of these children have grown up well, with a significant number of them pursuing higher education in the universities in Phnom Penh.
Welfare aid in the form of rations or rice, oil, blankets, soap, mosquito nets, clothing and medicines are distributed to poor villagers suffering the effects of drought and floods. PKH also brings aid to communities by embarking on small scale projects to provide wells and solar-powered lighting.
PKH operates from 3 centres located in the Province of Kampong Speu:
Project Khmer H.O.P.E. (Anglican) Centre, Chbarmorn
- Provides Vocational Skills Training for up to 120 youths, annually;
- Provides Childcare for a third of the 100+ children at the adjoining Seeds of Hope Orphanage / Childcare.
Project Khmer H.O.P.E. (Anglican) Centre, Aoral
- Provides Vocational Skills Training for up to 50 youths, annually.
- Conducts tuition in English for 50-60 secondary school students.
Project Khmer H.O.P.E. (Anglican) Centre, Trang
- Provides Education and Meals for 300 village children, annually.
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- Himawari Hotel, Cambodia
- Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
- Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore
- All Saints’ Church, Singapore
- Grace Baptist Church, Singapore