Out Of The Garbage Dump And Into School
Children from poor families dig barefoot in filthy rubbish in search of "valuable" junk at a dump site in Stung Meanchey, a district of Phnom Penh. They have no food, no education and little hope for a better life. Their day often starts at five in the morning and ends at eleven in the evening. They normally skip breakfast, having food scraps from the dump for lunch on this mountain of garbage while enduring the stench.
Life has changed for the better since these underprivileged children were admitted into “Pour un Sourire d'Enfant” (PSE), a school supported by WFP's School Meals Programme. They learned about proper hygiene, washing their hands before eating breakfast.
Children stand in line, anxious for their turn at the school canteen to fill their empty stomachs before class starts. Every year, WFP supports more than a thousand students at this school.
Studying while eating - what a hard-working student she is! The school breakfast helps her to better concentrate on her studies.
Smiling while eating - life has changed for the better for these children "from the garbage dump".
After having filled their stomachs with nutritious food, it is time for the children to become productive: learning for their future! Unlike most students in Cambodia, who sit on chairs while in class, the students at PSE sit on the floor. One teacher at the PSE school says this seating arrangement helps students better concentrate on their studies and gives them a stronger feeling of companionship among their classmates.
Learning is not enough - the children also have to build their physical abilities. The nutritious meals, which WFP serves at PSE school, provide the students with the necessary energy to strengthen their bodies through sports. "Good health, wonderful life!" as a Cambodian proverb says.
WFP helps transform the lives of children at a dump site in Stung Meanchey district of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. With support from WFP and other donors, through Pour un Sourire d'Enfant, these children begin a new journey for a better life.