Takhmao Dump is located in Kandal Province on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. It has been there for 15 years, covering a wide expanse of almost 2 hectares.The waste comes from the Takhmao area with approximately 7 truckloads of rubbish being dumped each day. There are around 100 people who work on the dump, two thirds of which are children. The community mainly live in a village that surrounds the dump in flimsy wood and thatched huts, with limited access to water and sanitation.
Our in country delivery partner is Pour Sourire D’Enfant (PSE) a charity which specialises in providing education and vocational training to child scavengers. Set up in 1996 with 20 children from the Stung Meanchey Dump in Phnom Penh, they now care for over 6000 children a day across Cambodia. We delivered our first ever project with their support in 2009 and today together we have set up a nursery for the under 6 years olds at Takhmao dump and enrolled the older children into their education programmes. This gives every baby, child and young person an alternative to scavenging every day. This project is funded thanks to the generosity of Comic Relief and Scott Dunn Travel.
SSP delivered a Phase 1 Shoe Distribution on the dump, providing the footwear necessary to keep the children and adults at the dump safe. This also enabled us to assess the demographics of the dump so we could work out who needed our help and create a Phase 2 Sustainable Project for the community, which is funded by Comic Relief and Scott Dunn Travel.
We are running a long-term, Phase 2 Sustainable Project, funded by Comic Relief for 2.5 years. In the first Year 2014-15 this included: 1) Nursery for children 0-6 years providing a safe environment for learning, play, hygiene and nutritional care, preparation for school and provision of child care for scavenger parents. 2) Mobile Outreach Programme providing outreach and informal education for ages 7-18 years as well as providing medical supplies, hygiene materials, recreational and educational equipment, support and advice, life skills and counselling. 3) Parental support in the form of counselling, guidance and employment opportunities. For Year 2, 2015-16 this includes: A new Children’s Support Centre which we set up with delivery partners Pour un Sourire D’Enfant (PSE) to provide in house care to children of all ages. Combining the two provisions (0-6 & 7-18) from the previous year so that all children would benefit from in house care, improved hygiene and nutrition. At the centre we provide: two levels of nursery care and school support for older children who we have integrated into school, providing them with a centre where they can wash, dress, eat and do their homework. It is a safe place to learn and play, an alternative to the dump. This project is a model of what can be achieved on every dump. We currently have no children scavenging on this dump as they are all enrolled in our programme.