A communication gap

Our research "Communication Matters!" shows which obstacles persons with disabilities face in accessing public information and services in Cambodia.
A man interviewing a woman, who is smiling

Can you imagine? You have a wife and a beautiful family; two daughters and their grandmother. But you don’t earn enough money to provide for you family, because your wife and you have both lost a leg. A leg you’ve lost because of a landmine. Your oldest daughter can’t go to school anymore because she has to work. Otherwise your family has nothing to eat.  

Prum Saroum from Cambodia doesn’t know better – and also doesn’t know where to turn for help. Until they meet the Commune Disability Representative (CDR)  during a village meeting. Together with the CDR, Prum wrote a business plan. The CDR then proposed and advocated for their plan during a commune meeting and with success! No the family of Prum has a noodleshop and a small business that repairs and washes motorcycles. Both of their daughters can attend school now. 

Prum is not the only one with such a story. A lot of people with a disability in Cambodia have no access to information and public services. But they are also not able to communicate that they want access, and don’t know how. The local authorities don’t know how to provide persons with a disability with information and services. Persons with a disability don’t let their voice be heard in the communes, and in return, communes don’t know what they need. On both sides there is a communication gap. 

That is why we did research in Cambodia. The research Communication Matters! shows which obstacles persons with disabilities face in accessing public information and services. The research took place in three districts in the province of Pursat. 1171 persons with disabilities in 229 villages are reached. 

Due to the research, many persons with disabilities were able to share their stories for the first time. Many persons were also found for the first time, because the team made an effort to visit everyone in the village. 

Do you want to read the whole research? Click here!