Major program areas include:
- Child Protection
- Outreach and Family Support
- Family Reintegration
- Alternative Care
- Education and School Reintegration
- Vocational Training and Employment Services
- Drugs and Harm Reduction
- Detox and Rehab Center
- Medical Care
- Sports and Recreation
- Community Education
- Arts and Music
- Counseling and Emotional Support
- Environmental Awareness
Safeguarding children is the highest priority of MT and runs deeply into all programs and every service we deliver.
As well as this, MT has a specialized Child Protection team that is responsible for:
- Prevention activities in the community, such as implementing the ChildSafe Movement in Sihanoukville.
- Peer Education and Youth Networks that receive training on how to protect themselves and their friends from all forms of abuse.
- ChildSafe Hotline– a 24-hour confidential service run by specialist social workers that receives calls from children, families, community members and police in order to provide immediate intervention in any cases where a child is at risk.
- Recovery and rehab support for survivors of abuse where our teams provide legal support through police reporting, emergency shelter if needed, ongoing counseling, medical treatment, safe reintegration into family and education and support to the whole family on how to ensure the child remains safe within the community.
Outreach and Family Strengthening
MT has over 40 social workers that work with the child, their family and the community to ensure that children are growing up safely with loving families and that the rights of the child are being respected.Our approach is always to partner with families, helping them to identify problems that are effecting their children’s development, and work alongside them to find lasting solution to these issues. Our teams provide many family support services, from practical interventions such as training, setting up small businesses to increasing income, or house repair so the family can safely live in the homes, to more psycho- social support services such as counseling, building confidence, skillful parenting lessons, alcohol and drug support services and problem solving within relationships.
MT believes that the best place for children to grow up is with their families, and if this is not safe, a family-like setting such as Foster care. Once a child that has been separated from her/ his family has been identified and assessed, our teams build a reintegration plan for that child, including careful tracing of the family, solving the issues that led the child to become separated from family, reunification to family and follow up on their reintegration (case management).
When a child has becomes separated from her/ his family, or if a child is in immediate danger of violence, neglect or sexual abuse, a safe shelter is needed for the child to remain protected whilst our reintegration team finds a solution to reintegrate the child to their family/ community. MT has a Transitional Home, providing safe nighttime services to boys and girls that need immediate shelter on a temporary basis. MT also has a foster care program for younger children needing support and Independent Living programs for youth that are in vocational training or have no safe family members to live with.
Education and School Reintegration
Being able to read and write is not only a fundamental right for Cambodian children, but also vital in terms of providing them with future job opportunities and a chance at being contributing members of society. MT operates a variety of education programs to meet the different needs of children we work with, including:
- A designated Education Center that provides a curriculum, developed in collaboration with the Department of Education, to help children and youth who have never been to school (or have been out of school for a long time) catch up with their studies. The goal is one day they will be reintegrated into the local public school system at a grade level suitable for their age. There is also a pre-school as well as a kindergarten classes held at the Education Center.
- The “Back to School Program” that assists families who cannot afford to send their children to public school. Although public school is officially free for all Cambodian children, families are still required to pay for school uniforms, books and supplies. For many of the poorest families even these costs prevent them from sending their children for an education. In addition to receiving school materials, students are also provided with regular follow by our social workers.
- Many children and families cannot access the M’Lop Tapang Education Center on a daily basis and as a result, cannot take advantage of the educational classes held there. To address this challenge, non-formal education is provided at M’Lop Tapang’s Community Education Center located in a neighborhood where many impoverished families live.
- The Mobile Library travels every day bringing books, game, and lessons to areas where M’Lop Tapang does not have a physical presence but there is a high concentration of children in need.
- Distance Education Support for selected schools outside of the Sihanoukville area. Support is in the form of funding local teaching staff, providing materials, as well as quarterly training and monitoring.
- Under the direction of the Education Team, a Special Needs class for children with learning difficulties is held at MT’s Education Center. These are children and youth with autism, Down’s syndrome, suspected fetal alcohol syndrome or other undiagnosed learning difficulties. The Special Needs team also provides outreach services to families with special needs children living in the local community.
Vocational Training and Employment Services
MT operates training programs for both youth and adults needing skills to gain safe employment or entrepreneurship. Sewing, electrics, bicycle and motor repair are taught at MT’s Vocational Training Center. Cooking/hospitality is taught at out Education Center and at Sandan, MT’s vocational training restaurant for you.
As well as this, we provide training and support for parents through our “Home Based Production Program”, allowing them to learn sewing and jewelry making in our centers and start a small business from home. The products made are sold at our Tapang’s gift shops.
An employment Office, “Futures “provides job skills training, technical support and connections to safe employment/ entrepreneurship and job placement/ follow up.
Drugs and Harm Reduction
MT runs Prevention, Harm Reduction and Relapse Prevention services for drug users. This is delivered on the streets, in the community, in prisons, and through our Drop-In center for street based children. We also provide a continuum of care through careful case management, including family reintegration, emotional support, referrals into education or vocational training and eventual job placement into safe employment.
“Pteach Romchang” (Water Lily House), MT’s 24-hour residential Drugs and Alcohol Detoxification and Recovery Centre was opened in late 2017. The medically supported detox program provides support to drug and alcohol addicted youth and caretakers of children.
MT’s Medical Clinic provides vulnerable children and caretakers with free medical support. Additionally, the medical team also delivers outreach clinics in remote and areas where health care and medical service access is limited.
Our health education staff also provides health promotion and education to families on how to prevent illness and the importance of not delaying medical interventions when their children are sick.
Sports, Music, and Arts
MT believes that every child should have access to creative arts and sports to develop their confidence and their creative expression. Arts and sports programs help children build individual and group talents, build trusting relationships, and allows children to enjoy healthy, fun activities that make them feel happy and safe.
Arts activities are held daily at MT’s Arts Center and provide lessons in music, singing, dancing, and circus. A designated sports team provides daily sports activities for boys and girls as well as regularly organizing sporting events that involve children and youth from all of MT’s programs.
Counseling and Emotional Support
Our trained counselor and art therapist provide emotional support to vulnerable children who are facing difficulties in their life. Through both individual therapy sessions to peer group work, children learn to adopt positive coping mechanisms and become better equipped to solve problems. As well as this, MT provides emotional support and supervision to all staff through peer-to-peer support groups within our staff teams.
MT runs a vocational training restaurant, Sandan (http://tree-alliance.org/our-restaurants/sandan.phps) as part of the Tree Alliance, as well as two Tapang’s gift shops and Tapang’s Motor Repair Shop. These businesses are self-sustainable and provide valuable training experience for youth in training before they are entered into safe, long-term employment.
Although MT does have a specific program designated solely to environmental awareness we try to incorporate green activities into existing programs. Some of the ways we have been doing this include:
- Organized beach and community clean up days with the children and youth we work with
- Using our Annual Carnival and Street Parade days to highlight environmental issues. Our Arts Team has also organized drawing/painting contests that allow students to express their concerns about the impact of trash.
- Implementing a “No Plastic straws” policy at Sandan, our vocational training restaurant, and changing from Styrofoam take-away containers to biodegradable ones