Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. To ensure that we stay on top of child protection, all Phare Ponleu Selpak staff received a one-day training in August to get a better understanding of our child protection policy. They became more familiar with its guidelines to create safe environments for the young students on the campus we all share. Being informed about child protection protects both students and staff by clearly defining what action is required in order to keep children safe, and ensuring a consistency of behaviour so that all staff follow the same process.

The child protection training

First of all, they were trained to recognise child abuse. According to the World Health Organisation, “Child abuse” or “maltreatment” constitutes “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.”

The child protection training was meant to enable staff to identify when children are at risk, take effective preventive action, respond in the most appropriate way to children who are suspected of being abused, and report their concerns appropriately to our social support department.

Beyond Phare campus, we cannot ignore the broader child protection issues faced in the communities our students are coming from. It is our responsibility to do our best to protect the children who we are in contact with, whether harm is taking place inside or outside Phare organisation. In the last months, our social support department have been pursuing its exchanges with the local communities of Battambang province:

30 child clubs representatives and 25 parents group representatives have been advised by our social workers to promote children rights and child protection concept to their relatives and community members, also helping in following up the students of Phare schools.

Further support to Phare students

Besides working on the development of our child protection implementation, we have been monitoring the other inputs of our social support this last trimester, made possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. 78 students receive a daily free lunch in Phare campus, and 21 students have benefited from sponsorships, using the money to buy learning materials, a bicycle to go to school, a musical instrument for their vocational training, or pay for English classes outside of our campus.

Make a difference today by contributing to the Collective Child Sponsorship program at Phare Ponleu Selpak and witness how students in Battambang flourish via arts and education.