photo by Josefin Wikholm
The ICC–VOTC aims to improve child safety standards and enable children to exercise their full rights by training churches and families in Kampot, Takeo and Pursat Province as well as NGOs, ICC and EFC CC staff and other networks.
VOTC = Voice Of The Children
What need is ICC – VOTC Project meeting?
Cambodia is comprised primarily of young people. Approximately 32.6 percent of the population are under the age of 15 years, and more than 50 percent are under 21 years old.
Recent surveys reveal a large gap between the younger generation versus the older generation when it comes to current traditional Cambodian culture and child rights. Many Cambodian proverbs reinforce the idea that children are less valuable than adults. These proverbs are still spoken today even with the consequences of limitations to their children's development. "The cake is never bigger than the baking tin" was said to illustrate the fact that children should not surpass their parents, and "Bend the iron while the steel is hot" means that children should be disciplined early in life by adults. The problem with the last proverb is that disciplining children in Cambodia doesn't always fall within the UN Convention's Rights of a Child which 193 countries have signed and adopted, including Cambodia.
The survey, "Speak Out" showed that only 14 percent of children in Cambodia felt "very safe".
ICC's VOTC Project believes that each child is unique and should be able to exercise their full rights. Children are Cambodia's greatest and most sustainable assets. To invest in them is to invest in Cambodia's future.
photo by Maria FInnevidsson
WHAT WORK IS ICC – VOTC INVOLVED IN?
The VOTC Project believes that the best way to create a safe environment for children is by equipping community-based organisations which are already present and active in the target area.
The churches in Kampot Province face many challenges in their efforts to provide the best possible care and support for children in their communities.
The Voice of the Children Project will assist the churches to fulfil their potential by raising awareness about child rights and provide training in the area of parenting skills and other subjects that churches have expressed a desire to learn more about as it pertains to child safety and development.
By advocating and speaking on behalf of children, through planting seeds of knowledge and change in civil society, the VOTC Project hopes to see a change in the way families bring up their children. This in turn, will positively affect the way children will bring up the next generation. VOTC envisions this programme impacting positively upon the future of the nation of Cambodia as well in other parts of Asia.
The VOTC Project wants to see churches move from a point of awareness to actual realisation of the issues of child rights and be able to implement child protection policies. Churches/ families and NGOs will in turn impact their surrounding communities/target groups with the knowledge that they have received.
photo by Josefin Wikholm
THE HOPES OF WHAT ARE ICC – VOTC PROJECT?
Voice of the Children Project hopes to promote greater awareness about children and their rights, so that communities will become safer places for children.
Greater respect for human rights generally, and children specifically, will contribute to the development of trust, which is an essential element in community development, civil society and economic progress.