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Cambodia

Give and take: Students playing at the grounds of Coconut School decorated with elephant figures made from aluminum cans at Kirirom national park in Kampong Speu province. — AFP Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2018/10/13/rubbish-man-schools-children-initiative-gives-street-kids-an-education-while-they-clean-up-cambodia/#TKpqH73VpCM4if2m.99

KIRIROM: Sitting in a building made from used tires, plastic bottles and old sneakers, Cambodian student Roeun Bunthon jots down notes during an English lesson at the “Rubbish School” where tuition is paid for with trash instead of cash.

Read more: Rubbish Man schools children

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A 10-year old girl helps her parents by carrying fired bricks out of the kiln Photograph: Thomas Cristofoletti/Ruom/2018 Royal Holloway/University of London

Heatwaves and drought have devastated crops in rural Cambodia, forcing many farmers to abandon the fields and take work in the country’s burgeoning brick industry, where they become trapped in debt bondage. Photographer Thomas Cristofoletti visited Cambodia to explore the reality behind research done at Royal Holloway, University of London, that shows farmers struggling with debt are putting their families’ lives at risk to make ‘blood bricks’

Read more: How climate change forces farmers into slavery in Cambodia's brick kilns – in pictures

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youngcambodianwomen

PHNOM PENH: The Cambodian capital Phnom Penh was once fondly known as the “Pearl of Asia”, with pretty post-colonial Khmer architecture, immaculate parks, and tree-lined avenues. Today, it is a city of garbage, where mountains of rubbish engulf acres of landfills and grimy streets reek of waste and decay.

But one day, it could see new roads built with trash if the Ministry of Public Works and Transport takes up the suggestion of two Cambodian female students – Sokanha Ly and Bunhourng Tan – whose green creation could turn plastic waste into cheaper and better roadways.

The pair are graduates from Harpswell, a Phnom Penh-based foundation that teaches young Cambodian women to be leaders through debates and civic engagement in English and French. In 2016, they co-founded a start-up called Eco-Plastic to transform trash into roads.

“We want to see Eco-Plastic as an eco-friendly mechanism to solve plastic hell in Cambodia, Southeast Asia, and the world,” said 21-year-old Bunhourng Tan, who is studying business administration at AmericanUniversity of Phnom Penh.

Read more: Young Cambodian women on green mission to build roads with plastic waste

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