New Futures Organisation, a nonprofit established in 2007, dedicates its time to improving conditions in impoverished communities in Takeo, Cambodia by exposing youth residents to education, technology and empowerment. The members of New Futures Organisation establish village schools in communities that normally cannot afford the resources needed to provide children a proper education, as well as drop-in centers for at-risk students and orphans. As the children in the village schools grow up and transition into university, New Futures Organisation continues to help them find jobs and sponsorships they can use for university costs.

While school in Cambodia is free, many families living in rural farmlands lack the funds necessary to pay for uniforms and books. Cambodian schools in the region are typically located in the heart of Takeo, miles away from the villages. During rainy seasons, the dirt tracks taken by children commuting to school become inadequate for walking. Children are also required to help their families with farming duties. All of these factors make it difficult for many children to attend school full time.

There are currently seven village schools in Takeo that provide education to over 100 students. These schools are cost-free to families who live in rural regions, and are centrally located so children can access them even during rainy seasons. Classes are held to fit the schedule that comes with farm work.

New Futures Organisation originally started as an orphanage and drop-in center for at-risk youths. The drop-in center houses many orphaned children while helping them reconnect with extended family members, or find good homes when the first option is not available. The families that take in orphaned children are provided with care packages each month to make up for the additional money, food and toiletries needed to house these children. The drop-in center also remains open for them to work on homework, earn tuition and receive hot meals when their home life is not fit for such accommodations.

Many of the children living at the drop-in center and attending the village schools aspire to attend college. New Futures Organisation helps these students achieve their goals by providing and finding sponsorships from organizations and community members, giving them emotional support and helping them become empowered adults so they can lead in their communities.

Other projects sponsored by New Futures Organisation to alleviate poverty in Cambodia include teaching English classes to children and adults and hosting local blood drive banks at health centers in Takeo. They also help local police officers by teaching them English and helping them communicate effectively with tourists and westerners.

– Julia Hettiger

Sources: Matador Network, Idealist, New Future Organisation
Photo: My Travel Affairs