Caritas Czech Republic, along with its organization Essential Personel Cambodia, opened with much festively, the first center of professional education for young people with disabilities in the town of Siem Reap in the north-western part of Cambodia. The Ministry of Labor and Professional Vocation along with representatives of the local governor were among the special guests who attended the event on 8th December.
The right of access to education and job opportunities can be found in the 2006 UN Charter on the rights of people with health disabilities. Young people with disabilities and their families belong to the most vulnerable, poor and neglected groups of inhabitants. They face stigmatization, discrimination and many other problems associated with their type of handicap. They all face difficulties finding a job, access to school, establishing their own business and obtaining social services.
Caritas Czech Republic activities in the north-western part of the country are firmly in keeping with the goals of the 2014-2018 National Strategic Plan of the Cambodian Kingdom for people with health disabilities. . They are intended to support the financial and social well-being of young people with health disadvantages, along with their inclusion in society and the job market. Earning their own living gives them dignity and self-confidence, in addition to addressing the poverty in the region.
The Center of Siem Reap offers professional workshops in the Information Technology field, creation of websites, editing and configuration of smartphones and, last but not least, laundry management. Besides being an area for imparting skills, the center will house a social organization that could in time become self-sufficient. Course graduates will also earn skills that can be applied to other jobs.
The center helps to remove the stigma that people with disabilities cannot be self-employed, thereby contributing to the economic development of Cambodia. They do not need to be a social burden or be deemed to be constant aid-receivers. The idea of the education center can be also transferred and applied to other parts of the country.
The project to prepare people with disabilities for the job market was supported from the provisions of Czech Development Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Program of Foreign Development Collaboration of the Czech Republic.