At Small Steps Project we have embarked upon our first sustainable project with the dump community in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. We’ve been delivering shoes there for three years, and now, with our new outreach project, in collaboration with NGO Let us Create, we are getting the children off the dump every day.
SSP & LUC Crew by their new outreach van
Together, this year, we are collecting the children and some of the mums from the dump each day in our new Small Steps Project Outreach mini van. Thanks to our partnership with LUC we now have a fantastic centre to which we can bring the children, where they receive two meals a day, have hygiene education and cleaning, fresh clothes, education, art therapy and fun!
CEO Amy Hanson works with kids off the dump
Within the centre children can attend the nursery and benefit from the Nutrition project and hygiene projects. These SSP & LUC collaborative projects improve the health of both the dump children and the existing children at the centre.
Both SSP and LUC help children who scavenge for survival: SSP helping children from the dump, and LUC helping children who scavenge the streets to survive. Both our organizations believe strongly that children should not be collecting or sorting waste; it is bad for their health and development and dangerous. However, their poverty means that they have no choice. So we are trying to offer them an alternative to scavenging.
Free play under the SSP sign
Our next steps are to create training and education opportunities for the mums as well – many of whom are interested in training as cooks or in child care, for which we will easily be able to offer training at the centre. By finding the parents alternative work, we can also help relocate whole families away from rubbish dumps.
The dump kids after their showers in the fresh clothes
By breaking down the project into different areas: outreach, early years, nutrition, hygiene and education & training we hope to attract further funding, to ensure that what we have set up will last.
Until now SSP has been too small to accept the many offers of help from volunteers and we discourage dump sight seeing. But together with LUC we now have a program where volunteers can work with the children in a safe environment. Please contact us here if you are interested in volunteering.
We would like to thank some of our corporate donors who have made our ideas a reality: Scott Dunn, First Mile, whose funding made the outreach possible and enabled us to buy a minivan to get the children off the dump,Optibac and Solgar and Malasia Airlines.
If you work for a company that is interested in supporting our work in health and hygiene, education, recycling, nutrition and child development please recommend and use us for your nominated charity.
You can donate yourself, or consider setting up a regular donation to ensure the sustainability of these projects. Please share this information on Facebook and Twitter, tell all your friends, families and colleagues about a small charity that makes a big difference and which ensures that the money goes directly to those who need it most.
The LUC kids teach the dump kids hygiene education