Made to measure care for children in Cambodia

DARA Europe supports families in Andong, one of Phnom Penh’s deprived suburbs. In partnership with a local NGO, we help children and young adults build better lives.

In 2023, Punlue, Chornai, Saran and their niece Sokchea went on a holiday for the first time in their lives. An international sponsor treated them to a beach vacation in Kep, a seaside town on the beautiful Cambodian coast. 

“It’s heartwarming to see the family enjoy their beach trip”, says Tirza Josie Voss, founder of DARA Europe. Josie has known the family since 2009, having met the children on one of her first visits to Cambodia. “Having been forced to move to Andong, the parents were facing extreme poverty. Therefore, the children were temporarily accommodated in the Stellar Child Care Organization (SCCO) shelter.” Since 2018, the children have been living independently, next to their grandmother’s house.

DARA Europe continues to be closely involved in helping the children create a bright future, contributing to the daily cost of living and educational programmes. SCCO’s social worker Sokun supports the daily housework routines, and advises on matters concerning health, wellbeing, income generation and education.

SCCO’s educational approach has enabled appropriate support for each of the four children, Josie explains. “Punlue, the eldest son, received an SCCO scholarship, and now studies at the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia (NPIC) to become a car mechanic. DARA Europe also funds additional English classes that improve his language skills and increase the chances of getting a good job after graduation.”

Sokchea and Chornai are in their final year at the local secondary school. SCCO finances extra classes that are necessary to have a good preparation for the national exam. The teenage girls are working weekend jobs at SCCO. Josie: “Chornai¬†teaches English classes. Sokchea supervises the library, assisting young children to read books and to play educational games. It’s such a win-win situation. We enable young talents to earn their own money and to gain valuable work experience, while at the same time the children in Andong receive the attention, care and counseling that they deserve.”

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