Major Problems Facing Vulnerable Children in Cambodia and Uganda:


Mother Teresa once said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Taking care of the orphaned and disadvantaged children and girls at risk for human trafficking is one of the best ways in which you can live by these words.

This article is an enlightening piece about the significant problems children face in rural Cambodia and Uganda. A closer look into the plight of this vulnerable group is essential in justifying the causes of charitable organizations and individuals operating in such areas.

Abject Poverty:

Most of the Ugandan population lives in rural areas. The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) details that thirty percent of rural citizens live below the Ugandan national poverty line. The significant causes of poverty in rural Uganda include low education levels attained by heads of families, low asset holdings, lack of enough expenditures, and the large size of households.

According to Knoema’s data hub, forty-one percent of the people in Uganda currently live in poverty. Similarly, rural Cambodia experiences high levels of poverty. A significant percentage of the poor people in the country live in rural areas. The nation has a huge income gap between the urban and rural populations.

High poverty levels expose children to child labor, malnutrition, human trafficking, and other vices. Therefore, any intervention in both countries goes a long way in helping prevent such vices and socioeconomic problems.

Access to Education:

Uganda is one of the few countries on the African continent where children have access to free primary and secondary education. But, in rural Uganda there are not many schools for the children to attend and the country still faces the issue of gender biases in education, meaning most girls miss school. Poverty is also a significant hindrance to accessing education in Uganda. This issue causes other problems such as malnutrition and unemployment, which hinder the abilities of families in rural Uganda to send their children to school.

Cambodia claims to have a high primary school enrolment rate. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Cambodia achieved a 97.7 percent net enrollment in primary school in 2016, with 48.2 percent of children enrolled in primary school being girls. This figure shows the reduced gender biases in the school system. But in reality, many rural schools should not be included in this number. As shown above, many rural schools are often little more than lean-tos built out of palm leaves, sticks, and corrugated tin for rooves. The children are exposed to the weather elements and cannot study. Still, poverty remains a major hindrance to girls’ education in the country. As one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, Cambodia has many girls who quit school to care for their families. Some of these girls end up working in beer bars or nightclubs and become victims of human trafficking.

Social Norms:

Cambodia’s Chbab Srey tradition is a significant hindrance to the progress of vulnerable girls. This tradition emphasizes that women are lesser members of society than men. Therefore, the tradition deprives women of the opportunity to become productive members of the community. Chbab Srey and other social norms in the country hinder women from getting an education, leadership roles, and different positions where they can influence society.

Uganda also has a lot of instances of gender biases. For example, based on a 2010 study by Seewanyana, Sarah & Kasirye, Ibrahim Kasirye of the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) in Kampala lists Northern Uganda as one of the poorest regions in the country, yet it has the highest cases of gender biases. These biases hinder the government’s efforts, such as the provision of free healthcare and universal primary education.

Both Cambodia and Uganda face abject poverty, limited access to education, and social biases. The intervention of a charitable organization can be more precise and influential than governmental projects. The role taken up by Teach Them To Fish Foundation, Inc. is critical in reducing these issues, especially among orphaned and disadvantaged children and young girls at risk for human trafficking. Donate to build a school in Cambodia. Donate to build a school in Uganda. Learn more about how you can help today.



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