Until recently 12-year old Veasna* and his younger sister were spending his days at a local construction site where their parents are working as laborers. Like many families, they had moved to Sihanoukville to find employment as workers in the city’s booming construction and development sector.
This is an all too common site in Sihanoukville. Families with young children working and living at construction sites where the living conditions are substandard, there is lack of clean water or adequate toilets. The risks of injuries and disease are high.
M’Lop Tapang’s Outreach Team social workers have been increasing the time they spend at these locations, assessing families that are living there and providing information to parents about services available for their children.
Nowadays, Veasna and his younger sister are attending non-formal education classes at M’Lop Tapang’s Education Center. They are not only getting an education but free medical care, hot meals, fun and games with other children their age, and other social services they need. So far this year, 76 children (39 girls) from local construction sites are now attending programs at M’Lop Tapang’s Education Center.
*name and photo changed for confidentiality