Mekong Blue projects
Child care and kindergartens
Continuously develop appropriate and sustainable programs that improve lives, increase skills and benefit the community.
Many women have no chance to educate themselves or gain employment as they are the sole cares for their own children and/or children of their relatives. This situation limits the opportunities they can participate in and their own personal development. Many families living with poverty issues in the Stung Treng region are challenged to even care for their children as the need to get money or food takes away time for child rearing. Some young children may also be used to work in potentially dangerous jobs to help provide for their families. These challenges may become detrimental to both women and their children and their quality of life presently and into the future. Our Child Care Program is assisting in a small way to alleviate these challenges for some of the community.
Child Care Program
This program was initiated to provide support for the women coming to SWDC and to keep them coming. The program now offers support to the women and men who work at SWDC, or their relatives, therefore making it possible for them to participate more fully in the opportunities at SWDC. The program also offers support to some of the families that live in the poor village next to the center, caring for the children so parents or guardians can work.
The program is offered free of charge. The children, aged between 2 and 5years old, are close to family at the center, which is important in this cultural environment. Between 2002 and 2010, over 232 children have come through the Child Care Program.
The program provides two meals a day, a shower and playground area. With dogs, the occasional stray chicken or pig, and plenty of insects to catch, there is much enjoyment for the children.
The Child Care Program has a positive impact on the community, providing an opportunity for women to be involved in the programs and employment opportunities at SWDC, while easing worries of care and nutrition for the children. Additionally the children get to see what is happening at SWDC. This shows them that there are options for the future and that women can achieve a more empowered role in the community.
SWDC operates two kindergartens, one on the SWDC campus and one nearby in the local village. The onsite kindergarten functions in coordination with the SWDC childcare program- any child of an SWDC worker may attend before enrolling in primary school.
The community kindergarten is located near the SWDC campus within the village of Sre Po. Both kindergartens allow young children an opportunity to learn and be cared for while their parents work on their farms or in other jobs.
The kindergartens teach basic pre schooling, crafts, caring for your health, nutrition and they encourage overall learning. The children participating are automatically provided with school sponsorship when they start school. If a child has a health issue we are able to offer support to them and if necessary take them to the doctor or hospital. They are well entertained through out the day and learn a lot!
The onsite kindergarten currently cares for 35 children, and the community kindergarten enrolls 45.