Friday, February 26, 2016

The birth of Cambodia’s first accessible tuk tuk

By Megan Smith

Megan Smith (right) and driver Mao Vanny with Cambodia's first accessible tuk tuk
© Ivette Yanez/Agile Development Group

Last night as I weaved through Phnom Penh’s congested streets of motos and Escalades in Cambodia’s first accessible tuk tuk, I reflected upon how much of my life revolves around transportation. Finding transportation, keeping transportation, and hoping the transportation that brought you to the restaurant will come back. In some countries such as Morocco and Nepal, I spent more of my time on the back of a camel or a man than I did on my set of four wheels, being carried up steep footpaths to wherever I was working at the time. While the novelty of being carried to work on the back of a sherpa in a rice basket makes for a great pub story, having to depend on borrowed legs limits my ability to work to my full capacity, to network and to socialize.

Moving to Phnom Penh to work with UNICEF, I encountered the same barriers to transportation. Aside from motos; tuk tuks are the most efficient and cost effective way of getting around the city. To lift my 70 kg power wheelchair into a tuk tuk takes quite a bit of labour, more than one person, and an acute knowledge of Tetris. The labour in of itself made my journey price double, and the burden of getting me in and out made some tuk tuk drivers avoid eye contact with me as if we had been on a bad date. While I would eventually find a couple of drivers who were wonderful, and made a friend willing to do some heavy lifting, the process remained laborious and when they were busy, I was largely out of luck.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A child survivor of an anti-tank mine explosion restarts school

By Plong Chhaya

Seangchin and Seiha with their mother at her work place in Pailin
©UNICEF Cambodia/Chhaya Plong/2015 

On 2 July 2014, Seangchin, 17, and Seiha, 12, set out on a journey with their father that changed their lives forever.

Seangchin and Seiha’s family is originally from the south eastern province of Svay Rieng on the border with Vietnam. They moved almost 500 kilometres to the predominantly farming and lumbering village of Koy Mountain in Pailin province, to work as seasonal labourers. Pailin is a province infested with countless landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) left over from decades of civil war between 1979 and 1992.

Landmines and ERWs are primary significant causes of deaths in Cambodia. An estimated 64,000 people have been killed or injured by landmines between 1979 and 2015 causing countless families to live everyday with the fear of being fatally hurt by a landmine.  In spite of the successful progress of programmes aimed at creating awareness of the dangers of landmines and ERWs, the rate of casualties in Cambodia is still considered one of the highest in the world.

Monday, February 15, 2016

ការសិក្សាពីសង្គម និងផ្លូវចិត្ត៖ តើគួរមានការសិក្សាបែបនេះនៅក្នុងសាលាដែរ ឬទេ?


ដោយ៖ ហេង សូរីតា

ហេង សូរីតា © Sorita Heng

To read this post in English, please click here.

កាលពី២ថ្ងៃមុន មិត្តភក្តិរបស់ខ្ញុំ បានចែករំលែករូបភាពមួយនៅលើហ្វេសប៊ុករបស់គាត់ ដែលក្នុងរូបភាពនោះ មានឃ្លាមួយសរសេរថា “ឆ្លងកាត់ការអប់រំជាច្រើនឆ្នាំ នៅតែមិនមាននរណាបង្រៀនយើងឲ្យចេះស្រឡាញ់ខ្លួនឯង និងសារៈសំខាន់នៃការស្រលាញ់ខ្លួនឯង”

ឃ្លានេះ ធ្វើឲ្យខ្ញុំចុច “​Like” ភ្លាម។ នេះគ្រាន់តែជាការរំពឹងទុកប៉ុណ្ណោះ។ ឆ្នាំនេះគឺជាឆ្នាំដែលខ្ញុំមានការភ្ញាក់ខ្លួនច្រើនណាស់​ លើកម្រិតដែលខ្ញុំមិនចេះស្រលាញ់ខ្លួន និងការវាយតម្លៃខ្លួនឯងខ្លាំងជ្រុល។

ខ្ញុំគិតថា យើងទាំងអស់គ្នាអាចមូលមតិគ្នាថា ការ​ឲ្យតម្លៃខ្លួនឯងទាប វានាំឲ្យយើងមិន​​សប្បាយចិត្ត ដែលតែងតែកើតពីក្តីបារម្ភនិងទុក្ខសោក។ វាជាការនឿយហត់ណាស់ ដែលយើងតែងតែចំណាយពេលវេលា ចង់បានប្រសើរជាងនេះ ឆ្លាតជាងនេះ ស្អាតជាងនេះ។ល។ វាគួរឲ្យមានការធុញថប់ណាស់។ នេះ​មិនទាន់និយាយដល់​រឿងដែលគ្មានប្រយោជន៍ ​ដែលចំណាយពេលគិតពីរឿងទាំងនេះផង។​ អ្វីដែលធ្ងន់ធ្ងរនោះ គឺ​វាបន្សល់ទុកឲ្យយើងបានត្រឹមតែ​ការស្អប់ខ្ពើម និងការឈឺចាប់ប៉ុណ្ណោះ។

Friday, February 12, 2016

The happy habits of handwashing at a remote primary school

By Ashanti Bleich and Chanthea Chaing

Students at Hunneng Kaoh Pen Primary School using their new handwashing facilities
© UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Ashanti Bleich

Hunneng Kaoh Pen Primary School is located on an island in the Mekong River, in Kampong Cham province. It is accessed by a bamboo bridge, in a quiet spot surrounded by trees.

Every morning around 7am, the leafy, quiet schoolyard fills with the chatter and laughter of around 370 students. But before they can start their studies, they must do something very important: wash their hands. With their teachers’ guidance, every child takes a few minutes to use the new handwashing facility that was built at their school in 2014. They are careful to use the six steps taught by their teachers to ensure their hands are thoroughly clean. A second washing session is scheduled during the mid-morning break.

Sambath Pheng, a Grade 4 teacher, explains that handwashing has become a ritual since the facility was built by UNICEF and RainWater Cambodia, with funding from AEON. “By starting the day with clean hands, children learn to wash their hands regularly. It has changed their behaviour towards a more hygienic way of living.”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

បរិយាកាស សុវត្ថិភាពសម្រាប់ កុមាររងគ្រោះពីអំពើជួញដូរ

ដោយ៖ អ៊ីម៉ាន ម៉ូរូកា


Goutte d’eau មណ្ឌលទទួលកុមារដែលត្រូវបានជួយសង្គ្រោះពីការជួញដូរ ជាកន្លែងដែលកុមារអាចរៀនសូត្រ និងលេង
© UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Antoine Raab

To read this post in English, please click here.

នាវេលាម៉ោង១០ព្រឹក ក្មេងៗកំពុងរវល់រៀននៅក្នុងថ្នាក់រៀនខាងក្រៅ រៀបចំឡើង​ដោយមណ្ឌលទទួលកុមារទុរគត របស់​អង្គការមិនមែនរដ្ឋាភិបាលមួយឈ្មោះ Goutte d’eau  ស្ថិតនៅក្រុងប៉ោយប៉ែត ភាគពាយព្យនៃប្រទេសកម្ពុជា តាមបណ្តោយព្រំដែន​ថៃ។ ព្រឹកនេះ គ្រូនិទានរឿង បង្រៀន​ក្មេងៗអំពីសារសំខាន់នៃអនាម័យ ខ្លួនប្រាណ។​ កូនសិស្សទាំងឡាយនាំគ្នាសម្លឹងនិង​ស្តាប់គ្រូ ដោយយកចិត្តទុកដាក់។

ប៉ុន្តែនេះមិនមែនជាថ្នាក់រៀនឬសាលាធម្មតានោះទេ។ ថ្នាក់រៀនក្នុង​មណ្ឌលនេះ ត្រូវ​បានរៀបចំឡើងដើម្បីផ្តល់ការអប់រំដល់​កុមារ ដែលត្រូវបានសង្រ្គោះពីអ្នកជួញដូរ  ពោល​​គឺ​ជា​កុមារដែលធ្លាប់រង ការប៉ះទង្គិចផ្លូវចិត្តនិងការកេងប្រវ័ញ្ច។ កុមារនៅ​ក្នុងមណ្ឌលនេះ ទទួលបានមេរៀនជាប្រចាំ។ ពួកគាត់ក៏រៀន ​ចម្រៀង​  និពន្ធដោយគ្រូរបស់គាត់ដែលរៀបរាប់ពីសិទ្ធិកុមារក្នុងការទទួលបានការអប់រំ ការគាំពារ និង​ការយកចិត្តទុកដាក់។ ​ ការនិទានរឿងនៅ ក្នុងថ្នាក់ ​ជួយឲ្យកុមារ​រៀនសូត្រនូវចំណេះ និងជំនាញ​សំខាន់ៗ ដែលជួយឲ្យពួកគេ លូតលាស់ធំធាត់ប្រកបដោយសុខភាពល្អ។​  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Simple measures, big changes for Cambodian children living with disability

By Rin Ream

Sun Chhea and her daughter Chivchay, who has cerebral palsy, in front of their home in Prey Veng Province
© UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Rin Ream

Eight-year-old Chivchay lives with her mother Sun Chhea in Thnalchey, a rural village in Prey Veng Province along Cambodia’s border with Vietnam. Sitting in a trolley, Chivchay smiles as a way of saying hello. She has severe cerebral palsy, and communicates by making noises that few outside of her family can understand. She relies on her mother or relatives to move around on her trolley. Though her condition is a difficult one, she is lucky to have a good mother and a supportive community. 

Chhea is 28 years old and has two daughters. The family lives in a small bamboo house built on a piece of land owned by her mother; Chhea’s husband left the family in June. The local commune council has certified the family as ‘very poor’ based on the Ministry of Planning’s Identification of Poor Households program. But in Cambodia, poor families facing disability like Chhea’s do not have access to social support services, leaving Chhea to manage this challenging situation on her own.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Entrepreneurship supports clean water for rural Cambodians

By Jorge Alvarez-Sala 


Khenh Taiveng, a local entrepreneur who has invested in a piped water system in Poutiban Commune, Kandal Province
© UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Jorge Alvarez-Sala

In Cambodia, more than 2.25 million people live in arsenic affected areas. The southwestern province of Kandal, through which the Bassac River flows, is the most severely affected province in the country. In Kandal, 35 per cent of wells tested have proven to have arsenic greater than national standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb). In some wells the concentration of arsenic exceeds the WHO standard of 10 ppb by more than 200 times.