Community development is a core part of ISF’s holistic approach. ISF works with communities marked by extreme poverty and insecurity. The families of many of our students moved from the provinces to the city in search of a better life. Without a strong network or the skills needed to succeed in an urban environment, what they found instead was a life of vulnerability. Many families survive on less than $2.50 a day, and most cannot even rely on this. They live in rented rooms and are often subject to arbitrary land grabs and evictions. This daily stress leads many to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as gambling and substance abuse.
These are the conditions that many of our students go home to at the end of their school day. We believe that a quality education and a stable and loving home life mutually support each other, and one struggles to survive without the other. ISF therefore works closely with the community and village leaders to make sure our Education Centres do not exist in a vacuum but serve to foster community development. Our goal is to create a good foundation for the children in our programmes and opportunities for their families, so that they have the skills to change their own lives for the better.
Support Families & Local Communities
Sponsor food parcels for a family for a year – US$500
Sponsor 15 women through a vocational course for a year – US$1,300
Sponsor a community library for a year – US$1,750
Results in Numbers
Community Development Programme Activities
Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is the foundation for personal and community development, and paves the way for democratic participation and active citizenship. At ISF, we work hard to support the educational efforts of our children’s parents and local communities. Our Adult Literacy courses teach these parents the basic maths and literacy skills they need to improve their lives.
Every day our students and their families find themselves with nowhere to study and do their homework. In order to provide local communities with wider educational opportunities and books, ISF established local community libraries and mobile libraries to reach those who lack basic educational facilities.
Most families in our communities work in irregular, unskilled and sometimes dangerous jobs such as rubbish scavenging. ISF provides vocational training, enabling participants to take control of their own careers and lives. By gaining the skills needed to succeed in the workplace, dozens of community members have increased their monthly earnings and helped their families break the cycle of poverty.
Soap for Hope
Poverty contributes to poor hygiene practices. This not only leads to diseases in our communities but also contributes to the stigmatisation of the people living there. ISF facilitates a Soap for Hope project in partnership with Eco-Soap Bank, which recycles discarded bars of soap from hotels in Cambodia and distributes them to people in need, promoting community development by preventing disease and creating jobs.
Bottle Light Project
Our students’ families often live in dark, dire conditions. Even during the day, natural light does not enter their rented rooms. This leads to unhealthy and potentially dangerous situations, as animals such as rats and snakes can go unnoticed and the inhabitants damage their eyesight straining to see. ISF facilitates a Bottle Light project, using recycled plastic bottles to bring light into the darkness.
Earn as You Learn
Most of our students’ parents live hand to mouth, trying to survive. We help them to learn new skills and earn some extra income for their families, through our Earn as You Learn projects. They learn sewing, bead making and other crafts, and sell their products on the local market or in the gift shop at our Chbar Ampov Education Centre, gaining vital entrepreneurship experience.