Crowdfunding for the ‘XEMX - Brightening Futures’ project begins

NGO Reaching Cambodia aims to raise €15,000 on Zaar.com.mt to help Cambodian children learn skills at zero cost.

For many children across Cambodia, the chance of a bright future is a dream few will see realised.

Yet, Maltese NGO Reaching Cambodia is set on changing that through XEMX – Brightening Futures, a project which will give children the chance to learn a trade, such as sewing, as well as English, in a safe environment with a guaranteed job once they finish their training.

“Most children under the age of 18 in Cambodia have no possibility of a brighter future,” explains Silvan Farrugia, the President of Reaching Cambodia.

“According to a study conducted in 2011 by the Cambodian Street Children Network, 19% of these children spend their time begging, 17% scavenge for food, another 5% steal for a living, and 3% pick insects to make it through the day – and that’s not including the 7% who work in construction work or the 5% who sell petty goods.

“Through XEMX, we are looking at giving some of those children the chance to learn a skill that will guarantee them a job once they are done. Right now, we’re focusing on sewing in order for them to be able to work at the XEMX shop once they’re done. These children will also be given a stipend while learning their trade, and they will also receive English lessons,” continues Mr Farrugia.

“The XEMX shop will, in turn, help fund the tuition of future children, leading to a cycle in which once-disadvantaged children help others to escape poverty, forced prostitution, and hunger.”

Reaching Cambodia, is now looking to raise €15,000 through local crowdfunding platform Zaar.com.mt, to help fund the first year of the XEMX – Brightening Futures project.

The money will be utilised to buy sewing class material, including four sewing machines, thread, fabrics, tools and other related materials (€3,800), pay the wages of the teachers and project coordinators (€6,000), fund utilities, rent and maintenance of the premises (€3,400), and to provide students with a stipend (€30 per month for five students for a year, which totals €1,800).

“We believe that crowdfunding is an incredibly interactive way to get people to connect with the project and through which they can see their small contribution go a long way,” Farrugia says. “Zaar.com.mt has made it a possibility for us to bring this project into the homes of many Maltese people, and we are now asking for their help so that we can this dream for so many Cambodian children a reality.

“Having seen how a small act of support can make a big difference in someone’s life has made us very passionate about what we do. That’s why we hope people will help us in making a positive change in these children’s lives,” Mr Farrugia concludes.

At the time of writing, the crowdfunding project had reached 10% of its €15,000 goal. There are now just over 50 days left for you to pledge a contribution towards the Xemx – Brightening Futures project.

Readers are also invited to visit http://www.zaar.com.mt/projects/xemx-brightening-futures/ or to like the ZAAR page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/zaar.com.mt).

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