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International Mother Language Day highlights the importance of CARE’s work

Every year on 21 February the world is reminded of the importance of language.

To mark International Mother Language Day, the Asia Multi-Lingual Education Working Group is highlighting the “challenges faced by some 2.3 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to education in their mother tongue and are excluded as a result.“ An article by the Working Group’s Coordinator which was published in the Cambodia Daily details her own expériences trying to learn in a school environment where she could not understand the teachers. In this she recognises the progress being made in Cambodia to increase access to multi-lingual education for ethnic minority groups.

Language plays a crucial role in CARE’s work in Cambodia.The obvious example is CARE’s focus on increasing access to education for those from ethnic minorities. CARE has been instrumental in developing a multi-lingual education model for Cambodia and working with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to expand this. However, as a development organisation working with the most marginalised people this language becomes even more important in order to reach all the people we work with. Many other projects - such as the work of Partnering to Save Lives to improve maternal & neonatal health, or CARE’s efforts to strengthen the accountability of health service providers - work with indigenous communities. Ensuring those from ethnic minorities have equal access to services such as healthcare is vital if we wish to reach all members of a community and language plays a key role in this.

The full article celebrating the impact of multi-lingual education on the voice and participation of ethnic minority communities is published in the Cambodia Daily. A Khmer translation can be found here.

Read the article in English >

Read the Khmer translation >

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