EMPOWERING YOUTH CAMBODIA
Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC) is a grass roots organization based in Phnom Penh Cambodia for the purpose of improving the lives of young people and their families. Our vision is to see empowered youth with skills and confidence to be leaders who actively develop self, family and community towards positive change.
The bulk of the work is achieved through our 3 schools or community centers, based in slum communities, which serve as after-school programs.
Who We Are
The community centers are run using local skills and basic ideas that work. The schools are houses in the heart of poor communities that are converted to learning centers. Students take part in various activities, though most all study English with us in addition to computers and extracurricular activities. The centers have become a place for the kids in the community who are on the right path to meet like minded friends and support each other. A series of leadership classes have been taught to over 180 teenagers from the areas, and have been the building block for the schools Leadership Teams; a group of committed students who volunteer and gain work experience. Health training and services are also provided free of charge to students, including testing, treatment, medicine, as well as quality dental care and toothbrushes. We place students into jobs to help them stay in school, in areas such as cleaning houses and doing data entry.
About the staff
The Cambodian staff consists of 15 part-time and 2 full-time staff, as well as 1 American (Drew McDowell). About half of the staff are from the communities where we work, and we also engage many students as work studies. A major aspect of our mission is to build capacity in the staff, and they are given responsibility and direction to make them leaders. We tap in to our staff’s strengths, and support their ideas for initiatives, empowering them to run the project. Many have gone on to take on leadership positions with other organizations. All too often we are underequipped to handle the daunting challenges in the face of poverty and lack of child rights that we work around, but by doing our best, listening and caring, we do make a difference!