Due to Khmer Rouge, modern investment in education is low in Cambodia. Many people between ages 30 and 50 are illiterate, leading to high unemployment rate and poverty in rural areas. Bank loans are often a way for people to afford necessary goods like motorbikes and hospital treatments; yet, when they can’t repay their loans, people have no other choice but to accept high-interest private loans. This causes high-indebtedness and forces people to be trapped in poverty. This financial situation affects the accessibility of education for children, as they are often forced to support their family by looking after their siblings and seeking paid work.
The JUMP! Rural Education Empowerment Program in Takeo Province, Cambodia aims to empower and engage youth in rural Cambodia to be changemakers in their communities. Together with local NGO Green Umbrella, the program will raise community awareness through Open Space discussions, and equip participants with practical skills via needs assessment and Design Thinking training. Youths will design projects tackling real community challenges, and will win the opportunity to implement the projects in their communities.