When the Outreach Program was first being implemented, the team realised that children were the most vulnerable group of people the project helped. In many cases the girls and boys the Outreach Team was working with were excluded from education because of their disability. And so, in 2001, the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang founded the Arrupe Centre to help children with disabilities access education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.
Arrupe Welcome Centre
Project Code: CBPT-1200051 | Project Location: Battambang
- Percent of Cambodian children with disability complete high school
- Percent of children with disabilities complete primary school
- Percent of all landmine victims in Cambodia are children
Since 2001, the Arrupe Centre has grown to offer a range of diverse activities taking place at four locations, including the original centre in Battambang, a centre called La Paloma (where the textile centre is located), another centre at Kalapaty and a farm at Outangia that provides food to the centres and employment for local farmers. Arrupe is closely linked with the various social works of the Prefecture, in particular the Outreach Program. There are currently 17 children living at Arrupe, being supported to study and create strong futures for themselves and their families.
The original Centre serves as a welcoming home where youth with disabilities are provided with nutritious meals, a place to stay and support in their education. Medical support is also provided as needed. Children attend the local Catholic Don Bosco School and after school have access to additional tutoring sessions run at the Centre, as well as plenty of time for play and recreation. Sports of all kinds are an especially popular way to pass time and several of the Centre's residents have even represented the country at various sporting events, such as Kim Sou, who plays wheelchair basketball for the Cambodian team.
About the Project
The aim of this project is to improve the opportunities available and future livelihoods for the children who live at Arrupe as well as developing the Centre's sustainability. By making the long-term investment of purchasing a building, the Centre will be able to expand its socio-economic activities, provide employment and training opportunities and generate the funds required to maintain the Centre into the future. Since the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang's human and spiritual development projects are interconnected, income raised through these activities may also go towards supporting other initiatives , such as the Outreach Program and the Kuruna Education Program.
Sustainability of the Centre
This activity will focus on developing a more solid structure for the future of the Arrupe family. It will include socio-economic activities such as planting and farming 30 hectares of rice fields, the produce from which will be used to feed children living at the Centre.
Youth leadership training
Support young Cambodian students to participate in training on community development or pastoral leadership in the Catholic Church. Three future leaders of the social and pastoral activities of the Catholic Church in Battambang will be sent to study an extensive course at the Institute of Formation Fondacio Asia, in Manila.
The leadership programs have a pragmatic approach, emphasising practical learning. After participants return from training, they be well equipped to lead in the Arrupe community, share their learnings and build the capacity of other youth at the Centre.
Key project activities include:
- Supporting schooling and medical needs; enabling the continuation of daily activities, such as sport, dance and tutoring; and contributing to the running costs of the Arrupe Centre, such as food, water, electricty and other essentials.
- Investing in a van for transporting children and hiring out to other social enterprises in the
Prefecture, thereby generating income;
- Carrying out infrastructure refurbishments, including rewiring the electricals at the original
Arrupe Centre building, to ensure safety of residents and longevity of the facilities;
- Investing in a building to expand social enterprise activities in a sustainable and realistic
way. This could include using the building as a shopfront to sell handicrafts and food items
produced by people working in the La Paloma Textile Centre or on the farm at Outangia.
How you can make a difference
By contributing to this project through Catholic Mission, you will be helping provide education, food, love and support to children living at the Arrupe Centre who hope for a better future.