The Cambodian Organization for Children and Development (COCD) is a non-governmental, non-political, non-profitable and non-religious organization. It is one of the few child focused development NGOs, which operates in the remote areas of Cambodia.
COCD was established in 2007 by a group of Cambodian development professionals They have expertise in rural development and child rights promotion. They share a common vision for community development and ending poverty. COCD was official registered with Ministry of Interior in March 2008. Due to a strong child protection policy and extensive knowledge of child rights, COCD was recognized and certified by the Cambodian government as a Child Safe Organization (CSO) in June 2012.
COCD is a non-membership organization under the leadership of an Executive Director. COCD consists of the Board of Directors, Senior Management Committee, staff, and works in partnership with beneficiaries and project partners. The Board of Directors is the highest decision-making body and guides the strategic direction of the organization. The Board of Directors meets at least three times per year to make decisions related to governance and strategic issues. The board members of COCD are senior members of different international and local NGOs in Cambodia.
Vision– All children have quality social welfare and are free from all forms of abuse.
Mission – COCD aims to improve the quality of life of vulnerable and abused children in Cambodia through tackling structural causes of poverty, inequality, social exclusion and child abuse.
Impact Goals: By 2025, increase the number of children who are protected from abuse and exploitation in the COCD target areas.
COCD has four main programs:
1. Child Protection and Development
2. Economic Empowerments
3. Social Empowerment
4. COCD Capability and Sustainability
|4 Year Strategic Goals
||1. Child Protection and Development
Ensure that children are better educated, protected and cared for.
|2. Economic Empowerment To reduce vulnerability of children through improved and sustainable socio- economic livelihoods for communities.
||3. Social Empowerment
Increase the number of children and their families who plan and share decisions in their own lives and the lives of other people
|4. COCD Capability Build the sustainability and capability of COCD to meet future challenges
|1.1 Improve capacity of children and duty bearers to protect and care for children;
1.2 Improve and strengthen child protection mechanisms and services
1.3 Increase children’s knowledge and skills to promote child development
|2.1 Increase the number of young people and families who have access to capital and other resources to run income generation activities
2.2 Increase vocational/income generation knowledge and skills, and the level of support to young people and families
2.3 Improve access to water and sanitation related services and resources to enable villagers to work productively
|3.1 Increase opportunities for more children and families to participate in local planning, decision making processes and community initiatives
3.2. Improve the confidence, skills and knowledge of more children and families to actively participate in family and community-based planning and decision making
3.3 Increase the relevance of community and local authority development plans in relation to the stated priorities of the community, especially children.
|4.1 Prepare COCD to become more financially self- sufficient in the long-term
4.2 Increase COCD funding levels and improve funding arrangements to better promote the development of the organisation
4.3 Improve the quality of services
4.4 Develop a capable and diverse team
4.5 Increase the profile of COCD at a national level
Integrated Rural Development:
Integrated Rural Development is a holistic approach to working with communities. It is one that seeks to work across traditional silos and incorporate actions that include health, education and agriculture. The concept of an integrated approach refers not only to its multi-sectoral nature but also to the broad range of stakeholders involved. Stakeholders include the beneficiaries (in COCD’s case the vulnerable children), families, the private sector, community members, international and local NGOs, local authorities, health and education service providers. The challenge, of course, is to coordinate the efforts so that they complement, not contradict each other. This approach has an emphasis on prevention through its focus on addressing the structural causes of poverty and other social issues.
Child Rights Based Approach (CRBA)
The Child Rights Based Approach (CRBA) is based on a development framework that espouses human- rights based approach as specifically applied to children. The approach uses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as its guide. The principles included in the UNCRC guide programs, policies and responses for children. The four broad rights categories (as outlined by UNICEF) are:
1. Right to life and health
2. Right to Education
3. Right to Protection and care
4. Right to Participation
The CRBA approach prioritizes children as one of the most vulnerable groups susceptible to human rights violations. Interventions focus on the root causes of poverty, deprivation and human rights violations. CRBA emphasizes the accountability of duty bearers and the universality and indivisibility of all rights. Networking and advocacy are considered important activities. Public relations activities are also part of a comprehensive child rights enforcement strategy. Projects are seen as the means to defend, promote and enhance the rights of children. Empowerment of children is a key component of this approach. (See Glossary for further explanation of COCD’s understanding on empowerment) The CBRA approach is sometimes referred to as a child cantered development approach.
Through the implementation of its 3 strategic program goals, COCD will operationalize the CRBA. Key activities will include: working with the most vulnerable children and families in each community; advocacy around child rights; building the capacity of duty bearers (parents, local authorities, education and health providers) to undertake their roles to defend the rights of children and provide the services that they need to thrive; creating opportunities for children to participate in decisions that affect their lives; improving their access to education.