Cambodia has one of the world’s youngest populations. More than 50% are under 25 years of age. It is estimated that 30% of the population live below the poverty line and that 10% of the population never enters a school.
Tiny Toones and The SOL Foundation have defined a co-operation to improve the existing programme using break-dancing and the culture of hip-hop to engage, inspire and educate young people from some of Cambodia’s most impoverished neighbourhoods.
Problem to be tackled
Cambodia has one of the world’s youngest populations. More than 50% are under 25 years of age. It is estimated that 30% of the population live below the poverty line and that 10% of the population never enters a school. Approximately 40% of children aged 5-14 are involved in child labour and nationally children average just 4.4 years in school. This leaves many Cambodian children undereducated, under-qualified and disadvantaged as they move into adulthood and seek employment to break out of poverty.
Tiny Toones works within four different programme types: the Creative Programme with break-dancing and the culture of hip-hop, the Education Programme with positive learning experiences, key skills and the confidence and communication skills, the Peer Mentoring Programme with individual emotional and educational support to the students and the Scholarship Programme to help students and staff to reach their full potential.
Before attending Tiny Toones, the children they work with have little hope for the future. They are at risk of or already engaging with gangs, crime and drugs. Often, they have never been to school. The vast majority of their students move on from these challenges, lead drug and crime free lives and – thanks to their educational support – 80% are integrated back into the public-school system, in a country where just 34% of children reach lower secondary school and 21% reach upper secondary.
With the support from The SOL Foundation Tiny Toones will be able to improve their existing programme in Phnom Penh that rescues kids from the streets, pulling them away from violence, gangs and drugs and instead offering them music, breakdancing and a solid education.
The vision of Tiny Toones is for all youth in Cambodia and beyond to live healthy lives free of HIV and drugs, realise their full potential through educational and creative opportunities; to pursue their dreams and become positive leaders of tomorrow.
Their mission is to provide a safe, positive environment for at-risk youth to channel their energy and creativity into the arts and education, empowering them to build self-confidence in their daily lives, aim for better employment possibilities, and feel supported pursuing their dreams.