Young women on Access-for-All program, Cambodia
Access-for-All” On Friday the 31st of July 2011, Joanna Thomson and her team at Rose Cambodia Rehabilitation Centre (RCRC) are excited to be attending the signing ceremony to receive a $20,000 (USD) grant from the Disability Inclusion Assistance Fund (DIAF). DIAF is a funding mechanism supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and managed by the Australian Red Cross (ARC). The goal of the DIAF is to reduce the vulnerability of persons with disability including landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors, their families and affected communities in Cambodia.

The grant will be used to support the “Access For All” project which aims to address the issue of women with disabilities in rural areas being unable to access secondary and tertiary education. The project provides a safe, secure housing solution for disabled women, allowing them to move into the town and live independent, fulfilling lives where they can access educational opportunities. Not only are the beneficiaries able to access formal education but they are also trained in project management and organisational development skills which will enable them to be leaders and manage the project independently long-term. Through the learning of life skills, taught to them in the supportive home, they will be able to gain confidence and learn to participate fully in the community and to teach others about women with disability and raise awareness and advocate for disability rights. Through the long-term acquisition of skills and formal qualifications they will be able to earn an income and relieve the burden on their families of caring for a disabled daughter in rural Cambodia, increasing the living standards of not only themselves, but their whole family.

This project has been established by inspirational local Khmer man, Mr Ull Meng Hour. Located in Prey Veng Town, this project has been developed by a group of devoted local volunteers with Mr Hour’s leadership. While Jo Thomson is the Project Manager for this project, her role will largely be a consultative and advisory role as the day to day management of the project will be staffed by the women with disabilities who are the beneficiaries of the project. Mr Hour and his supporters will remain very much involved in the project acting as long-term project guardians who will provide training to the project team and will ensure that the project is being implemented in line with the identified objectives.

While this grant covers the basic costs of the project for the next year, more funds will be required to sponsor the beneficiaries’ educational requirements, in particular their University fees. As well, more laptops are required.

If you are able to help with these needs, please contact Rose Charities Director, Sarah Miller – For more information on Rose’s Educational Sponsorship program and to see the student profiles of those involved in the Access For All project please see