TASK - Cambodia
11 university scholarships
Since 2001, TASK has helped Cambodian communities care for children affected and orphaned by AIDS, sparking a youth movement that has become a separate entity in its own right called Big Brothers and Sisters of Cambodia.
Years: 2009, 2010
Big Brothers and Sisters of Cambodia is fully managed and led by Cambodians. It assists children to stay in their communities (not in an orphanage) by supporting orphans and their extended family through school fees, small business loans, medical care, life skills training, income generation projects, grief counselling and mentoring. ALMT provided university scholarships for at least 11 students.
At a fraction of the cost of supporting a child in an orphanage, TASK is able to support a senior relative who would otherwise be unable to care for the orphaned young. In other cases, where the oldest child is in their late teenage years, they work with the community and extended family to support them as a 'teen-headed household'. When there is no extended family available they recruit Cambodian families of good character as adoptive parents.
A study of children in families affected by HIV/AIDS found that 40% of these children have had to leave school and forego necessities such as food and clothing. TASK works to ensure that all orphans are able to attend school and get an education by paying school fees and training Big Brothers and Sisters to check homework and encourage the orphans in their studies. Once the orphans have reached university age some wish to continue their studies and obtain degrees, thus breaking the cycle of poverty and lifting themselves and their families out of the slums.