How can vulnerable children escape their circumstances?

Education is one of the keys to helping children escape poverty. But if children are not supported, education can’t do anything. Even when schools are built and teachers provided, too many children end up working for their families instead of going to school.

But across Cambodia, we’re seeing something happen - young people called Alongsiders who are choosing to walk with vulnerable children and help them stay in school.

‘My parents cannot read, so I ask my Alongsider for help with my lessons and homework’ - Little brother, Takeo Province


These Alongsiders offer them the help and hope that comes from knowing exactly what it’s like to grow up in such vulnerability - help with homework, encouragement to persevere in school, chatting informally with parents about the importance of education.

It’s a kind of support that an outsider could never offer.

We decided to find out how much of an impact these Alongsiders were having in Cambodia, and the results were exciting.

An independent research group asked several groups of little brothers and sisters about their lives - and asked the same question of children without Alongsiders (the ‘control group’). In total they surveyed 333 young people.

You can see the results for yourself in the accompanying infographic.

It’s not rocket science - it’s just young people in slum communities helping children like them, with their own resources. All we have to do is bring them together and support them while they make a difference.


[Written by David Burton. All these statistics come from the Alongsiders Impact Assessment. You can download the whole report here.]