Our Community Centres and Preschool are a measure of last resort, after exhausting all possible community-based solutions, to ensure that poverty does not result in children being placed in institutions, trafficked, subjected to child labour or forced to beg. Through these centres we provide children with all their essential needs, while ensuring they remain with their family.
The program promotes both the emotional and physical development of these children and provides crisis intervention services. CCT’s Community Centres and Preschool are safe places for children to access nutritious meals, hygiene classes, clean drinking water, shower and bathroom facilities, medical treatment, counselling and social work support.
While each centre has a specific focus on either age group or service, all centres work together to provide vital services to the children that we support. There are three main purposes for CCT’s Community Centres and Preschool:
Provide a safe and healthy environment for our young children:
Food – healthy and delicious breakfasts and lunches provided to students daily. Menus are designed by our medical team and prepared by a lovely group of CCT foster parents. We source fresh produce from our community garden whenever possible, which has the added benefit of teaching students where their food comes and how to grow it.
Hygiene – safe and clean facilities for our students to shower, wash their clothes and use the toilet. We also provide regular workshops and advice to teach children good hygiene skills (for example: how to wash their hands and brush their teeth).
Safety – safe environments in which successful learning and development can occur. Children are supervised by teachers and staff at all times, in order to minimise exposure to unnecessary physical and/or emotional dangers. The social work team also has a strong presence at the Centres to provide supporter services, counselling, and to identify anti-social behaviour early.
Provide access to public education and supplementary education:
All children attend local public school where they receive education alongside their peers. When they are not at school, students spend their time at the Community Centres where they can receive help with their homework and supplementary education programs (focusing on Khmer, Maths, English, and Technology). CCT facilitates public school enrolment and covers associated educational costs.
All children enrolled in one of CCT’s Community Centres or Preschool are required to attend every day – they are not drop-in centres. This is one method we use to successfully intervene in a crisis: if a child enrolled in the Centre program is absent, our social workers go and find out why.
Working with the families of children is key to reducing risk and minimising dropout rates. Families of the children enrolled in our youth centres can also access our medical, counselling and employment services. In this way, we support the wellbeing of the children – and also their families.
Provide fun, engaging activities:
For children to develop healthy cognitive, physical, social and communication skills, they need engagement. Youth-related activities don’t have to always be academic – but they should always be engaging. This means creating a variety of activities that cater to different interests and involve students in the decision-making process.
To encourage learning through play, CCT facilitates many different activities with varying levels of structure:
Structured play (photography, sport, music, dance, art) – teachers work to engage students through various extracurricular activities, which are aimed to appeal to students’ different interests and talents. Click here to watch a short video about our school holiday program.
Semi-structured play (science club hip-hop dance club, leadership club) – groups led by students under the guidance of teachers.
Unstructured play (free periods) – opportunities for children to develop at their own pace and explore their particular interest for that day. They are also provided with games and equipment. There are no requirements, except it has to be screen-free – no computers, phones or movies – and it has to be outside.