Cambodia has toiled away at rebuilding both political and institutional identities after three decades of internal conflicts, which claimed more than 1,7 millions lives. The 1991 Paris peace agreements symbolizes the next chapter of a whole nation craving for a unified country.
Cambodia is a country full of opposites. This makes even more sense when linked to the last decade of prosperity and western countries’ leverage allowing a modernization of the urban zones. Yet the rural population still struggles to overcome years of political and economical mismanagements.
The war being over, some astonishing progress has been made concerning, above all, the domestic policy run by the Government of Priminister Hun Sen. But Cambodia is a large construction site : much remains to be done. The country shows lack of profitable investments in major sectors, such as education. The literacy rate – every individual over 15 years knowing how to read and write – verges 77 %, whereas it reaches 99% in the main western countries.
This is where we step in : by focusing our personal project on education, we firstly want to raise awareness that rebuilding of an entire country, it is the young generations concerns in the first place. With a more adpated and innovative form of education, we believe that children in backwards zones may very well have access to a fully-fledged and adequate education. In partnership with an NGO – Greenway Cambodia, specialized in environmental protection and educational programs in Cambodia – our goal is to deliver a very specific message : the youth is tomorrow’s future.
We, Diego and Damien, are students currently in third year of Bachelor at IHECS (Institut des Hautes Etudes des Communications Sociales) in Brussels. We are launching this project, consisting in a mediatic work within the scope of our academic formation. This year, we have the opportunity to launch a project that comes from a personal idea and this completely independentally. A great risk but above all a unique opportunity.
There are numerous outlooks : a first attempt would consist in a concrete overview of the current socio-political context. Therefore, we find it useful to carry out observative and field study. First of all, our work will start with collecting extensive pieces of information, by interviewing various scolar tutors, teachers – volunteers as well as teachers from the public sector – and parents too, with a view to understanding the disparities between urban and rural zones, those with a lower literacy rate amongst children. The role that an independant body – such as a NGO – can play and be an integral part of the process is very important as well. The project aims at releasing a magazine whose explicit articles will relate to the subject matter of the educational sector in Cambodia. The photographs will back our accounts with a visual support. Moreover, it is fair to say that we are active witnesses willing to reapproach volunteer work in depressed areas in order to promote more access to education for children.
We will arrive in Bangkok on the 27th of January 2015. From there we will reach the Samrong region in the North of Cambodia by train. We will come back in mid-February. We are hoping to have a consequent budget to offer a large publishment of the magazine.