Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Helping people with disability in remote Cambodia

People with disability in Cambodia are often marginalised, and not given the opportunity to fully participate in their communities.

This can lead to high levels of unemployment and exclusion, and leave children and families trapped in a cycle of poverty.

ChildFund Cambodia’s  Community Voices project is giving people with disability the opportunity to have a say about the challenges they face in their daily lives, and how these obstacles can be tackled.

In turn, this improves the accountability of village authorities and drives change at a grassroots level, with community members working collaboratively to find innovative solutions to the problems raised.

In rural Svay Rieng, the lack of work and livelihood opportunities was found to be a major issue for people with disability.

Working together, the village decided to provide motorcycle mechanic training to help people with disability find meaningful and stable employment.

Motorcycles have become extremely popular in Cambodia, and there is a long-term need for skilled mechanics.

Ratha, who cannot use his right leg, is one of many parents in Svay Rieng who took part in a mechanics apprenticeship. This is his story.


Ratha, 35, wanted the apprenticeship so he could keep his children in school

Before receiving training, Ratha had a small bicycle repair business operating out of this simple shop

Through the apprenticeship, Ratha has learned skills that help his community

With her parents earning a stable income, four-year-old Chanthoun has more security

The apprenticeship has helped Ratha and his wife, Thoeurn, open a bigger store, which helps keep their children, Chanthoun and Sorya (12) in school

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