Prince Holding Group (“Prince Group”), one of Cambodia’s largest and fastest-growing conglomerates, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Plan International Cambodia, one of the world’s leading development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls, for a project that will install pedal-operated handwashing stations at all school levels in Preah Sihanouk province.
The MoU was signed at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) in Phnom Penh, in attendance alongside H.E. Dr. HANG Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport.
During the event, Minister H.E. Dr. HANG Chuon Naron took the opportunity to extend well wishes to Prince Group and Plan International Cambodia delegates. In addition to this project, he thanked Prince Group for their active participation in the past years and is looking forward to more initiatives contributing to the education sector in the future.
Commending the outstanding leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, H.E. Dr. HANG Choun Naron highlighted the effectiveness of the Kingdom’s Covid-19 preventive measures with over 90% of Cambodians vaccinated and strict adherence to the Covid-19 preventive standards (3 dos and don’ts). The control of imported cases including Omicron has enabled Cambodia to reopen its economy since end 2021. However, he emphasized the continued need for precautions by washing hands frequently, maintaining social distancing, and wearing masks whenever exposed to public areas such as schools.
As part of a ‘Back to School’ campaign, Prince Foundation, the conglomerate’s philanthropic arm, will work with Plan International Cambodia to carry out the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) intervention programme from March to April 2022. Additionally, the Foundation will offer financial and operational support for a range of activities that ultimately seek to support the government’s drive to reopen schools safely.
“Prince Foundation, which has previously launched a national level initiative through our recent Chen Zhi Scholarship initiative, is also looking to work more actively at a provincial level. We want to ensure a sustainable recovery across provinces, and we are pleased to get a chance to work with Plan International Cambodia,” said Cliff Koh, Secretary-General of Prince Group. “We also look forward to collaborating further with the MoEYS in the new year to ensure children get the facilities they need to make education safer.”
Prince Foundation and Plan International will conduct a complete handover of pedal-operated handwashing stations between March to April to officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport as well as Sihanoukville provincial and municipality administration officials. Such programmes have demonstrated measurable results in other countries over the years and stand to bolster Cambodia’s pandemic resiliency.
“This collaboration between Prince Foundation and Plan International Cambodia will help ensure that children, especially the girls, can go back to school safely after the interruptions by COVID-19. Installing these pedal-operated handwashing stations is a very important intervention to help reduce risks from COVID-19 and ensure that children can access quality education which will benefit them for life,” said Yi Kimthan, Acting Country Director of Plan International Cambodia. “On behalf of the students from the schools in Preah Sihanouk province, I would like to express our gratitude to Prince Foundation for this first exciting project together. This project is under Plan International Cambodia’s Healthy Start and Lifelong Learning Strategic Programs, which is part of Plan International Cambodia’s mission – partnering to empower 2.5 million girls, especially adolescent girls and young women in Cambodia, from 2021 to 2026.”
With Prince Foundation’s funding and corporate partnership, WASH interventions by Plan International Cambodia, which has been working in the country since 2002, have proven to be effective community-based solutions that can ensure well-maintained water points and sanitation facilities, empowering people to take control of their public health. In South Asia, over 6.6 million people have received access to improved water facilities, sanitation and hygiene.
Prince Group has actively focused on contributing to youth development and recently launched the Chen Zhi Scholarship, a financial aid programme that promises to transform the lives of 400 Cambodian university students in the coming seven years. Prince Group will contribute full tuition fees and stipends totalling over US$2 million.
Canopy Sands Development, a member of Prince Group, who is working on Ream City, a coastal development project that aims to help transform Sihanoukville, has also recently distributed care packages to one of the leading charitable organisations in Sihanoukville, M’Lop Tapang, as part of its ongoing efforts to support local communities as Cambodia reopens for a post-pandemic recovery.