Mobile librairies in Cambodian brick factories



Action realized with: Sipar

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1% For Education fund is collaborating with SIPAR association to develop access to reading and books for communities residing in 32 brick factories of Cambodia.

A highly vulnerable population

In Cambodia, dozens of workers’ families live on bricks production sites and work in very difficult and precarious conditions. The vast majority of workers’ families are over-indebted and are paying off their debts through their work.

Workers and their families are highly dependent on the brick factory owners, sometimes for several generations. This makes them particularly vulnerable.

Since 2018, Sipar has deployed its action with two mobile libraries visiting 12 brickworks. This experience has led to a significant improvement in school enrolment rate, a better level of reading and arithmetic, and improved socialisation.

The association’s work is also changing parents’ perception about education. They understand how important it is for their children : letting them go to school, is giving they chances of a better future.

Offering children future perspectives

From 2023, the project will enter a new phase with 4 additional mobile libraries. With them, Sipar will be able to visit the 32 brickworks and reach almost 3,000 people, children and parents alike.

Twice a week, the mobile library settle in a bick factory for 2 hours, offering :

  • Access to books and reading sessions
  • School support
  • Support for young people excluded from schooling
  • Awareness-raising sessions for adults

In addition to these activities, the association’s ambition is to develop micro-libraries managed by volunteers living in the surrounding villages.
They will enable people living outside the brickworks to borrow books too, helping them to open up to the world and develop their knowledge.

With the brickworks mobile libraries, the association has set 3 main objectives:

  • To help children from working-class families improve their school learning and reading skills, so that they can continue their education.
  • That young people who have dropped out of school benefit from appropriate socio-educational development programs, offering them new perspectives for the future
  • Improve workers’ families quality of life thanks to sessions on important social issues, and through lobbying brick factory bosses.

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