Why Do Children Drop Out of School in Southeast Asia?

Education-2-Header-600x321Around the world, education is one of the most effective ways to help children and families escape long-term poverty. But in the countries where Holt works in SE Asia, this basic right of children is not easily obtained.

In impoverished communities across SE Asia, parents often let their children drop out of school to enter the labor workforce at very early ages. But high dropout rates, lack of education and poverty are all primary factors contributing to child trafficking.

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Children as young as 12 who drop out of school have become easy targets for traffickers who recruit them with the promise of job placements in big cities. Sometimes, they end up in very harsh working conditions. Others are trafficked for far worse reasons.

Preschools or daycare for children ages 3-5 are also not available in many rural areas in SE Asia — resulting in delayed social, language and academic development. In some countries, the frequent migration of parents to seek jobs in big cities has resulted in children not having access to preschools. Many parents simply can’t afford to send their children to preschool, or do not understand how education impacts the development of their children prior to Grade 1.

But by giving the gift of school supplies, books and uniforms, you can help children continue their education and empower them to pursue their dreams. In Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, you can also help reduce the risk of abuse and child labor.

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Without your help and partnership, Holt could never reach so many lives in SE Asia and the many other countries where we work. Thank you for being part of a big cause serving children and families around the world!

Thoa Bui | Senior Executive of South & Southeast Asia Programs

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She Could Be Any Girl

In Cambodia, as more and more families migrate from rural villages in search of work, their children are placed at greater risk of exploitation and trafficking. Here, in one rural province, Holt is working to keep children safe in the care of their families and communities.

A young girl — 13 years old — just had her last day of school. Not because the school year ended and let out for the summer. And not because she graduated one grade to move on to the next. For this girl, her last day of school came abruptly — disrupting her education when it all but started. Next week she will move to the city, all alone, where she’ll start work. She was promised a good job, but she knows better than that. She’ll probably work in a garment factory or maybe as a maid in someone else’s house, with long hours and meager pay. Her mother worries and tells her to be careful of strange men who may seem nice at first, but may want to hurt her. She is scared and doesn’t want to leave her friends and village, but she knows she must go to make money and help her family.

This girl could be any girl in the Prey Veng province of Cambodia. Continue reading “She Could Be Any Girl”