Funding flows for communities in rural Cambodia

July 6, 2007
A project in Cambodia to help low-income households gain sustainable access to safe drinking water receives £318,892 in the Big Lottery Fund's latest round of grants for UK-based charities working overseas. It is one of 21 projects to share in more than £9 million in awards from BIG's International Program, which will go towards providing a long-term solution for communities in developing countries tackling poverty and deprivation. BIG Lottery Fund Chair, Sir Clive Booth, said...

CAMBODIA, June 27, 2007 -- A project in Cambodia to help low-income households gain sustainable access to safe drinking water receives £318,892 in the Big Lottery Fund's latest round of grants for UK-based charities working overseas.

It is one of 21 projects to share in more than £9 million in awards from BIG's International Program, which will go towards providing a long-term solution for communities in developing countries tackling poverty and deprivation.

BIG Lottery Fund Chair, Sir Clive Booth, said: "I am delighted to be announcing more than £9 million in funding for these UK-based charities, which are making a significant impact in some of the world's most disadvantaged areas. These grants support a diverse range of projects aimed at providing long-term solutions to tackling poverty and deprivation across the developing world."

Lack of access to safe drinking water is one of the main causes of disease in Cambodia. Approximately two thirds of the rural population does not have access to improved water sources, and water-borne disease is a major contributor to Cambodia's under-five mortality rate of 83 per 1000 live births -- one of the highest rates in Asia.

Delivered by UK-based charity International Development Enterprises UK (IDE-UK), the project will make Ceramic Water Purifiers (CWPs) available to low-income households in rural areas.

IDE has been promoting the technology as an affordable household water filtration option for rural Cambodia since 2001. As well as health benefits, the local production and distribution of the filter is providing significant economic benefits to tens of thousands of rural households, while creating rural, non-farm employment. By providing an effective alternative to boiling water it also helps to reduce fuel stresses on forest resources.

By the end of 2010, IDE hopes to see the water filters used in at least 140,000 Cambodian households -- nearly five per cent of the national population.

Linda MacLeod Brown, Chair of IDE-UK, said: "This project responds to the fundamental rights of children, women, and men to safe and healthy lives by promoting improved access to safe drinking water. A key strategy for improving access to clean water is to enable rural households to purify water in their homes using an appropriate water treatment technology at the point of use. IDE's Ceramic Water Purifier is an ideal technology for this purpose."

BIG funding will also help make a positive difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and their families in Kenya through a project delivered by ChildHope UK.

Working with implementing agency Pendekezo Letu, ChildHope UK will use its £500,000 funding to improve access to education for some of the most disadvantaged children in the country, especially girls, and champion their rights in state schools.

The project will initially rehabilitate 400 young street girls, reunite them with their families and enrol them in schools. It will also help the girls' families develop long-term economic self-reliance through the provision of micro-credit and skills training.

Recognizing that violence is one of the causes of children dropping out of school, teachers in 16 deprived state primary schools will be trained in child rights, child protection and positive models of child discipline.

The project will work with other NGOs and government allies to lobby the government to introduce these alternative discipline models and child rights practices in all teacher training colleges and formal primary schools. It will also push for legislation to make child protection policies obligatory for organizations working with children.

Emma Crewe, Director, ChildHope UK, said: "This grant will enable Pendekezo Letu and ChildHope to get hundreds of girls off the streets, reunite them with their families and get them and their siblings into school. To keep families together the program will offer micro-credit and skills training to the girls' parents or caregivers and to prevent children dropping-out teachers will be supported in reducing violence in schools. There can be no greater gifts to children than education and a more secure family. "

Supporting another disadvantaged community, BIG has awarded Sense International £464,410 to increase the level and quality of services available to deafblind people in Latin America.

It is estimated that there are more than 220,000 deafblind people in the region, yet very few services for people with the disability currently exist.

As well as funding essential services to help to identify, assess and provide educational facilities for deafblind people, the grant will help to strengthen representative associations of parents and deafblind people and expand the volunteer network, trained to support services, to embrace the whole region.

The project will benefit nearly 17,000 deafblind people and family members and ultimately aims to support the entire population of deafblind people in Latin America.

Ximena Serpa, Director of Sense International (Latin America), said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The funds will help to transform the region for deafblind people and their families. Whilst deafblindness is a low-incidence disability, the impact we are able to have on the lives of deafblind children, adults, and their families is huge. Access to basic support services can transform their lives of deafblind people from one of isolation and neglect to one of communication, interaction and self-esteem. This cannot be measured in tangible terms but is a lifeline to the deafblind children, adults and families with whom we work. "

The BIG Lottery Fund awarded more than £9 million to 21 projects in total.

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programs and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

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