On The Road Blog
Karate and coffee–innovation changes girls’ lives
In Phnom Penh, Aziza’s Place gives girls a pathway out of poverty (and the garbage dump.)
March 8 is International Women’s Day—a day that reminds each of us to do our part to ensure that, as the International Women’s Day Team says, “the future for girls is bright, equal, safe, and rewarding.”
At GFC, we proudly support dozens of grassroots organizations around the world that are doing just that. One group that is particularly close to our hearts is Aziza’s Place in Cambodia.
Aziza’s Place supports some of Phnom Penh’s most vulnerable children: those who are living and working in dumpsites and city slums. The organization serves both girls and boys, but it places special emphasis on equipping girls with the education, skills, and support they need to thrive.
Without Aziza’s Place, many of these girls would spend their days sorting through trash. Instead, every day they have a safe place where they can get help with their homework, eat nourishing food, access healthcare, and take part in creative classes like karate, art, dance, and music.
Aziza’s Place makes sure all of the girls enroll in school and offers additional tutoring to help them succeed. The teen girls in the program are regularly ranked among the top 10 students in their class! Teens also receive tailored assistance to prepare for adulthood, including career counseling and internship opportunities.
What makes Aziza’s Place most innovative is the organization’s commitment to community-based, family support. Instead of running an orphanage, Aziza’s Place keeps families together and provides them with financial support and assistance from a professional social worker to ensure a safe and stable home environment.
If you are ever in Phnom Penh, be sure to check out Aziza’s Coffee. The mobile coffee shop operates out of a solar-powered tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw), and you can get a discount on your cappuccino by cashing in recyclable bottles and cans! Proceeds from this social enterprise benefit programs for vulnerable girls—yet another way Aziza’s Place honors International Women’s Day, every day.
We couldn’t be prouder to support this pioneering organization—thank you for making it possible!
A GFC donation transforms the lives of children and youth worldwide, like those served by Aziza’s Place.