Acquisition of functional literacy is a crucial step in the process of improved livelihoods and alleviation of poverty. In and around the Seima Protection Forest (SPF), a World Education study in 2009 revealed that illiteracy and innumeracy are significant barriers to the successful implementation of community-based conservation efforts.
The Conservation through Literacy Project (CLP) was a joint project of World Education and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The project goal was to increase the knowledge and practices of conservation among Bunong communities in the SPF area in Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia, through the implementation of a literacy and livelihoods programs.
The Conservation through Literacy Project worked in partnership with the Provincial and District Departments of Education and supported their efforts in nonformal education in Mondulkiri. In addition, community-level literacy working groups played an integral role in providing monitoring support to literacy classes and facilitators.
The project aimed to provide both functional and financial literacy pilot programs in the two target villages in the first year and worked closely with local NGO partner Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT), which will continue to implement activities into the future, thus promoting sustainability. Lessons learned in the pilot will be incorporated and it is hoped that the program can be expanded to villages throughout the SPF. The project was implemented from January 2010 through June 2011 and was jointly funded by World Education and WCS.