KPF are committed to seeing Cambodian children and youth with moderate to severe disabilities living dignified lives, with their families, in inclusive communities. Using a community based, self-help approach, KPF builds the capacity of families to advocate for the needs of their own children and ensure their rights are respected.
To ensure long term change, we actively engage with communities and their leaders to facilitate the inclusion of all people with disabilities, in all areas of life. This includes working with government ministries, Disabled Persons Organizations, Parent Groups and other organizations to advocate for the needs of vulnerable children.
KPF focuses on both establishing best practice demonstration projects that successfully and sustainably address the needs of children and youth with moderate to severe disabilities and their families, as well as national networking and engagement strategies, that support policy development and implementation of activities by government organizations.
- Community care for children – enabling children with moderate and severe disabilities to learn, develop and meet their goals though high quality programs, services and support.
- Building life skills – helping youth with moderate and severe disabilities learn new skills and become as independent as possible.
- Empowering parents – partnering with parents and carers of children with disabilities to empower and mobilize them to advocate for the rights and needs of their children, using Self Help Groups and Parent Associations to work for long term change.
- Working towards inclusive communities – engaging with communities and their leaders to help them catch the vision for an inclusive community where everyone is valued, while advocating for improved specialized services, in partnership with government and non-government service providers and legislators.
- Working together for change – ensuring like-minded organizations work co-operatively together for change.
- Improving institutional care – facilitating services for the development of children and youth with disabilities living in institutions.
Community care for children in rural Cambodia
Children with moderate and severe disabilities in rural Cambodia are amongst the most disadvantaged and isolated groups in Cambodian society. Most have no access to schooling, appropriate medical care or therapy, to help them learn and develop to their full potential.
Their families often face both social discrimination as well as economic isolation, as time spent at home caring for a severely disabled child usually means a significant loss of income.
That’s why KPF established three Community Day Centers in rural Kampot province. For the first time, children with moderate and severe physical or intellectual disabilities in the Chhouk district of Kampot can go to a center to learn, play with other children and receive therapy. Our teachers are passionate about helping each child learn, develop and meet their own goals- whether it’s to learn to walk, to communicate, feed themselves or to buy food at the market.
This is a life changing program, for not just the children, but also for their parents. Many of these children need around the clock supervision and care, limiting the amount of outside work a parent can do. With their child safe and happy at a Center during the day, parents are able to focus on their own livelihood. KPF helps parents access small grants for income generation or technical training programs, so they can establish a home business or agricultural project.
Building life skills
Young adults with significant intellectual and physical disabilities in Cambodia often face an uncertain future. Parents talk of the stress of not knowing who will care for their child in the future, and desire for their child to become as independent as possible.
KPF has responded to the need for life skill and vocational training for young people with intellectual and physical disabilities, by developing an Activity Training Centre in Phnom Penh. Set in the National Borei orphanage (NBIC), thirteen young people currently access pre-vocational training and enjoy being involved in sporting, social, cultural and recreational activities.
Current projects include teaching the children to make bead jewellery, screen printed clothing, grow vegetables and help in the running of a cafe.
KPF seeks to support and empower parents, through facilitating Self Help Groups and Parent Associations. Having helped create the first-ever self-help group for parents of children and youth with intellectual disabilities in Cambodia (PACHID), KPF is now developing similar programs in rural Kampot.
For the first time, parents are learning about their child’s rights as well as their abilities and disabilities. Some are taking a lead role in their communities, educating others about the prevention and early detection of childhood disability, as well as the need to include children with disabilities in all parts of village life.
Working towards inclusive communities
Children and adults with disabilities in Cambodia often face significant barriers, which prevent them from fully participating in their communities. To break down these barriers, all parts of society must catch the vision for an inclusive community.
That’s why KPF actively engages with communities and their leaders, to facilitate the inclusion of all people with disabilities in all areas of life. This includes working with government ministries, Disabled Persons Organizations, Parent Groups and other civil and community organizations.
As passionate advocates for the community based care of children and young people with disabilities, KPF work closely with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) to assist with the development of appropriate policies, to ensure children can get the services they need in their own communities.
KPF liaise with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and other government ministries, to promote the integration of disability into all government policies, plans and programs and support the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) in promoting the importance of Inclusive Education.
Working together for change
Ensuring like-minded organizations work co-operatively together for change.
Improving institutional care
KPF is committed to seeing children with disabilities living at home, with their families. Yet sadly, in Cambodia today there are many children with disabilities already living in institutions. That’s why KPF works to improve institutional care, through facilitating services for the development of children and youth with disabilities living in institutions.