Child Development Program
Sunshine children come from families trying to live on a few dollars a day and who struggle to provide the most basic needs. This meant many Sunshine children previously spent their days working on the busy streets of Phnom Penh. There are 2 things wrong in this statement:
Children should not be WORKING. They should be in school. And...
Children should not be on busy city streets. It is a dangerous and inappropriate work environment for any young child.
The kinds of labour Sunshine children engaged in were dirty and dangerous. Many spent their days sorting through piles of rotting garbage looking for recyclable material which they would then sell at a depot. Some begged around the market and tourist areas. Others sold snacks, trinkets or postcards. Not only were they vulnerable to abuse and exploitation but they also missed out on the simple pleasures of childhood.
For 12 years, Sunshine ran a daily program at its centre where the kids could safely play and learn, eat good food and get health care. Their families were also supported through visitation and counselling and various trainings. Now, with parents mostly employed and the children having caught up with mainstream education, Sunshine has made a bold move to encourage greater parental responsibility. The daily program has been replaced by weekly clubs and parents are paid a monthly sponsorship to help them cover food and health care costs themselves.
Click the photo below to see our programs in action.
"Global Development Group has reviewed and wholeheartedly approved these changes and commends Sunshine Cambodia and the Board on the great progress the project (J529N) has made, and continues to make with the community in Cambodia."GDG
Sunshine kids continue to receive the benefits of education, food & health care, sport and creative arts etc., but now it is through their schools and their families in partnership with Sunshine, rather than Sunshine alone. So what exactly are these benefits?
Children and Youth Clubs
Weekly clubs for primary-aged children include games, arts and crafts, Bible stories, action songs, as well as lessons on child rights and child protection, health and hygiene, social and life skills, and healthy relationships.
Youth clubs catering for the teenagers are run each quarter and cover a similar agenda as the children’s clubs but at a more age-appropriate level.
In return for ensuring their kids are clean, healthy and attending school regularly, parents receive a monthly cash payment to cover food and health care costs.
Sunshine pays the informal school fees and extra tuition costs directly to the public primary and secondary schools. Uniforms and stationery are also covered. Sunshine also provides for many students to study English at local privately-run schools.
We are particularly proud of our secondary students, many of whom achieve pleasing results. These kids work hard and receive strong support from Sunshine staff.
Read about one of those special students here.
Any holistic program is concerned with the spiritual development of its beneficiaries, and this is an extremely important aspect of Sunshine's work. Before each morning and afternoon session of the children's clubs, there is a time for singing, sharing, teaching and praying, led by Sunshine staff.
Whilst we do welcome donations and giving towards the Spiritual Development program, any donations in this area are not tax-deductible. (Please note that all spiritual development activities are not a part of the Global Development Group approved aid and development project J529N).
To make a non-tax-deductible donation to the Spiritual Development Program, click here.