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Home > Projects and Programs > Education and Literacy > Breaking The Cycle Of Poverty

Breaking the cycle of poverty through education

The daily reality of chronic poverty makes it impossible for families living in the rural districts of Cambodia’s Pursat province to do anything but survive.

The Situation:

Poverty in Pursat province continues to become more entrenched with each generation as two issues conspire to keep these families poor: a lack of educational opportunities for the children and a lack of clean water.

In rural Cambodia, most school-aged children will never have the opportunity to attend school.

The situation is even worse if you are a young girl and able to help out with the daily routine of searching for water and scavenging for food. Surviving takes precedence over education. Every able hand is needed if water is to be found and a meal scavenged from the forest or the family’s meager garden. And even if there is a school nearby, the cost of school fees, supplies, and clothing ensures that education opportunities are out of reach.

Clean water, for drinking, bathing, and irrigating small gardens, is virtually unheard of in these impoverished districts and diseases like cholera and dysentery put children at risk on a daily basis and keep families in a state of perpetual ill health.

What HOPE International Development Agency donors are supporting:

HOPE International Development Agency and the families of Pursat province are breaking the cycle of multi-generational poverty by working together to construct small schools and a series of dug water wells.

When education is available, poverty loosens its grasp on children.

For every school we build and stock with desks, chairs, and supplies, the Cambodian government provides teachers and on-going funding for all operational costs.

When clean water is present, children are healthy enough to learn.

We are helping families gain access to clean water by teaching them how to construct wells, protect the well water from contamination and use the water to improve their health. Hours previously spent suffering through sickness or searching for water can now be spent on other activities, like education for the children and income-generation for adults. Malnutrition becomes a thing of the past as children enjoy ample amounts of fresh vegetables, rice and fruits from the family gardens and fields. Household income increases as families sell extra produce at local markets. Children, freed from sickness or accompanying their parents on the daily search for water and food, can now attend school and begin to learn their way out of poverty.

The Result:

The combination of clean water, schools, and the commitment of families who understand the importance of ensuring their children receive an education, is breaking the cycle of poverty and forcing it to yield to a new reality full of hope and opportunity.


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HOPE International Development Agency is a non-profit international development agency based in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. 

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