We have worked in Cambodia since 1992 to empower older people and their communities to challenge age discrimination and campaign for an age-friendly society and as well as economic and physical security.
With our affiliate HelpAge Cambodia, we work through community-based older people's associations, to improve older men and women's livelihoods, healthcare and home care. In 2014, HelpAge Cambodia was successfully registered as a national NGO with the Cambodian government.
Life story: Dum Ream, 72
(c) Mayur Paul/HelpAge International
Dum Ream lives in the village of Doun En in the Battambang province of Cambodia. She looks after her three grandchildren after their father passed away and mother abandoned them to marry another man. At her age and with a very limited income, this is a big burden.
HelpAge Cambodia has helped Dum Ream with her grandchildren's school fees and clothes, and gives her US$20 every three months to go towards the cost of food.
She is also a member of the local older people's association that HelpAge supports, and through it she secured a low interest loan of 200,000 riels (US$50) to support her livelihood making and selling rice noodles. The money she generates through this goes towards supporting her grandchildren.
"All I want for my grandchildren is for them to be educated. I will never give up my efforts for my grandchildren until the end of my life," she says.
Supporting older people in Cambodia
- We supported older people to demand their participation in civil society through an older people's associations petition.
- We helped older people's assocationed connect with local government to access funding and resources.
- We worked closely with the Ministry for Social Affairs to provide expert advice to review their Policy on the Elderly.
- HelpAge Cambodia gained has "adviser" status on the National Committee for the Elderly.
- We provided small business with training and support for older people's assocation members and provided 120 older men and women with microloans.
- We provided 15 hand tractors to older people's assocations to improve agricultural capacity.
- We gave older people in 39 villages access to basic health assessments, and water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.
- We will build a network of age-aware organisations across Cambodia, ensuring that the older people's assocation model can be strengthened and replicated.
- We will partner with the United Nations Population Fund to provide expert advice to the Minister of Social Affairs to ensure Cambodia develops high quality policy on ageing.
- We will expand the local capacity and coordination of older people's assocations to help them secure funding.
- Through Age Demands Action, we will work with older people's assocations to amplify the demands of older people in Cambodia for equal rights.
- We will establish 40 new older people's assocations, expanding into a new province.
- We will expand the support for funding for small businesses working with older people.
Ponleur Kumar, HelpAge Korea, HelpAge Thailand, HelpAge Vietnam, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and federations of older people's associations in Battambang, Batta Meanchey and Siem Reap.