Lotus graduates from partner program

Posted on September 11, 2017

Marady

We’re proud to have helped Lotus Outreach Australia offer scholarships to hundreds of girls in Cambodia who are at risk of dropping out of school. With books, uniforms and transport, plus rice for their families, girls can focus on their studies. As our partnership comes to a close, we’re excited to see Lotus take their work even further to help more vulnerable girls.

At Action on Poverty, we believe in empowering local changemakers to find their own solutions to poverty. Through our Action on Poverty Partnership Program, we mentor young organisations like Lotus, helping them access the networks and funding they need to become independent agencies. Together, we’ve helped young women such as Marady escape the cycle of entrenched poverty.

Marady’s story

Marady, 18, is the oldest of three children. She lives with her father Ouen, her two sisters, and her elderly grandmother, who is bedridden with illness. Her mother left the family when Marady was in primary school. Around the same time, they were forcibly relocated from their home in the centre of town to an outlying area, where Ouen could no longer find work as a bicycle mechanic. Due to the family’s circumstances, Marady was at risk of being taken out of school to help earn an income and care for her sisters.

In times of need, unfortunately girls are the first to be withdrawn from school. Although this may help families make ends meet in the short-term, in the long-term, low levels of education make young women particularly vulnerable to human trafficking and sex work.

But with a scholarship from Lotus, Marady was able to stay in school, where she is achieving excellent results. Her scholarship provides school supplies and a bicycle, which shortens an hour long walk to a 20-minute ride, giving her more time to study. Every month her family receives 20kg of rice and $3 to pay for tuition.

“I can stay at school and I have better nutrition,” said Marady. “My sisters and I eat three meals a day – we didn’t before.”

Read more inspiring stories from Lotus

Transforming lives

Congratulations to the Lotus team on graduating from our partnership program. Over the last few years, we’ve connected them with resources and training so they can fulfil their mission of empowering women and children to escape poverty through education. Now that they’re thriving on their own, we wish them all the best, and thank them for sharing their passion and knowledge with us.

Even though Lotus is no longer our partner, we’ll continue to ensure girls and women from poor communities have access to the education and training opportunities they deserve.

You can help women like Sara escape domestic violence by supporting a women’s refuge and training centre in Timor Leste.