Japan has provided more than $840,000 in grants to three NGOs to help them raise awareness on environmental issues, promote remedial studies and develop a high-quality university programme physical education using information and communications technology (ICT).

The three recipient organisations are Nature Centre Risen, Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) and Heart of Gold.

The grant agreement was signed on February 27 by Japanese ambassador Atsushi Ueno and the representatives of the three NGOs.

According to a February 27 press release from the embassy, the project for the realisation of a sustainable living environment for Cambodian citizens through promoting and raising awareness about environmental issues (Year 3) has received a grant of more than $110,000 and will be implemented by Nature Centre Risen.

“Through this project, about 320 people will be able to play a core role in promoting and raising awareness of environmental issues. This is expected to help improve the living environment across Cambodia,” it said.

For the project to promote remedial study in remote primary schools in Cambodia, a grant of over $260,000 went to the SVA.

The NGO aims to establish learning facilities which can be utilised for remedial and self-study at two primary schools in Pursat province. This educational facility will be composed of a self-study room and a library, and digital educational materials will be equipped as well.

“The organisation will conduct various training activities for teachers, the school management committee and parents to support and promote remedial learning. Through this project, 673 students, teachers and parents in total in the targeted areas will benefit,” the press release said.

For the project on developing a four-year quality Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) university programme through ICT (year 1), a budget of more than $470,000 was provided to the Hearts of Gold.

The NGO will collaborate with Cambodia’s National Institute of Physical Education and Sport (NIPES) to improve seven important management systems: Library operations, international centre establishment, internal quality assurance, teacher development, student management, alumni support and security management, by utilising ICT facility.

“Through this project, approximately 70 staff members and 180 teacher trainees at the institute will be able to gain a better learning environment for physical education. Also over 1,000,000 students in Cambodia are expected to receive a more effective physical education as a result,” the press release said.

Ueno said the Japanese government considers the provision of support in rural areas and working closely with local people through grants for Japanese NGOs and through KUSANONE grants equally important.

He added Japan would continue to work with Japanese NGOs and support their work to address challenges in Cambodia.

“I am pleased to see that Cambodia has been developing rapidly recently. However, I acknowledge that there are still some challenges that need to be addressed to improve people’s quality of life,” he said.