Agriculture has been recently mechanised in Cambodia; consequently many rural jobs have disappeared. As people have no forests or land left to work on, a lot of men go off to look for work in towns, especially in Thailand.
Patrik and Theavy talk to a person who has taken in a girl, they try to get her into school and integrate her into the nearest school.
Women stay alone with their children and are able to survive thanks to the money their husband brings back home. Polygamy being rather common here, a husband sometimes marries a young Khmer woman he has met in Thailand.
These widows or abandoned women must find a way of survival and then live in conditions we could not endure for one single week…and this is how children end up in a world no child should ever see and run a great risk of being exploited in one way or another.
A grandmother is single-handedly raising eight children in a small village of former internal refugees in Cambodia. Schooling these children is a priority and allows us to follow the children in the long term.
When mothers work in town, or in Thailand, children are taken care of by elderly local people who are usually not family.
The child has then to help at home and gets neither education nor payment; or worse, little girls have to go and work as prostitutes too.
Danger factors for a little girl
- Very poor family sometimes living on less than 30 dollars a month
- Abandoned girl or orphan being taken care of by an unscrupulous relative
- Prostitute’s daughter
- Parents suffering from alcohol or psychological problems
- Abandoned mother with many dependent children : she can be tempted to give away her oldest children in orphanages that take them in instead of providing help to the mother. In our shelter we never separate a child from a good father or mother, but we provide help to give a good schooling to the child.
Little boy in great suffering located by our volunteers in Cambodia. In the most difficult cases, we welcome the children in our child protection centre in Battambang.
Likewise we don’t separate kids from their siblings; our shelter is mainly intended for tortured, raped or abandoned little girls, but their siblings are taken in too.