DVV International has been working in Cambodia since 2009 with the support of partner organisations which were accompanied by the Regional Office in Laos. Since January 2017, a national office has been coordinating the projects.
French colonial rule, the Vietnam War and especially the dreaded regime of the Khmer Rouge left deep wounds in Cambodia. The reevaluation of history continues. After more than 20 years, the first free elections were held in 1991. Since then, a vibrant civil society has developed. However, democracy in Cambodia is on (increasingly) shaky legs. On the one hand many Cambodians have been able to profit from the benefits of economic growth, on the other hand, poverty remains a major problem and affects around half of the population. Cambodia’s post-war generation is very young – of the approximately 14 million inhabitants, 60 percent are under 30 years old. Thus every year up to 300,000 young people are thrust into the national labour market, often without secondary education or vocational qualifications.
DVV International strengthens the civil society and state commitment to non-formal adult education in Cambodia.
Basic education: DVV International, in cooperation with the NGO Non-Timber Forrest Products has launched basic education measures for children and adults at the village level in the province of Ratanakiri. These offers are designed to help the participants to cope and to use for themselves the radical change to which their region has been subjected due to the rapidly advancing plantation economy.
Reconciliation: With the support of DVV International, local NGOs implement reconciliation measures to deal with the past. Especially for young people, they organise workshops, exhibitions, but also visits to the “killing fields” and museums.
Capacity Building: Along with the non-governmental organisation Education Partnership, DVV International reinforces civil society organisations in their capacities for advocacy work at the local, regional and national level. In addition to trainings, this also includes practice-oriented research projects.
Networking and political dialogue: In regard to the various topics of lifelong learning, events are conducted with decision-makers as well as practitioners, and publications are published.
Policy advice: In close consultation with UNESCO, the Institute supports the Department of Non-formal Education of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in the development of policy documents, curricula and learning materials.
One of the most important partners for DVV International in Cambodia is the NGO Education Partnership (NEP), a membership organisation for non-governmental institutions working in education. NEP is a recognised force which is also consulted by the Ministry of Education. The reconciliation work is being implemented by the NGO Youth for Peace. The basic education projects in the province of Ratanakiri are carried out by the non-governmental organisation Non-Timber Forrest Products. Both Non-Timber Forrest Products and Youth for Peace are members of NEP. Since 2016, DVV International has also worked directly with the Department of Non-Formal Education of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.