Changing Lives

Our experience with a non-profit organization in Cambodia back in May.

Giving back to local communities was an important part of our travels. We have been sponsoring two children; Bunlanh & Sokty in Cambodia for more than three years. So it was clear for us that we wanted to include Cambodia into our itinerary to visit “Shade for Children” a non-profit organization as well as meeting Bunlanh and Sokty. We ended up teaching English at the center for a couple of weeks and it was a heart warming experience.

Shade for Children is an NGO located between Kep and Kampot in the South of Cambodia. The organisation offers free education for rural children. It currently accommodates 210 children and employs four full-time and four part-time teachers.

This is the beautiful story of Sokkea from Cambodia who grew up during the Khmer Rouge era. Shade for Children was founded by Sokkea who himself had been sponsored as a child by a French couple who enabled him to go to school in Cambodia. One day Sokkea went to the south of Cambodia and found a group of 40 children having lessons under a mango tree at a pagoda.

how it started

Most children in the rural areas of Cambodia help their family with farm work and are unable to attend school. On weekends, this group of children had lessons in the pagoda yard. The children and the volunteer teacher used the shade of the mango to protect themselves from the sun. Sokkea knows how crucial education is and started to support this cause. He collected available books, chairs, tables and whiteboards for the children.

Soon the number of children multiplied and with some funding and the help of friends Sokkea managed to buy a rice field and with further fundraising he was able to start the construction of the school. In 2015 a second home for the children opened its doors.

It was a joy to teach English at the school. The children love going to the center as it is a welcome break from working on the fields. The center really represents a second home for them. The children are very kind and eager to learn. They truly appreciate the opportunity of getting looked after and educated.

The families have very basic homes in this rural area. Their houses only consist of one room which is shared with the whole family, often across three generations. One well is shared among the village and many families don’t even have bathroom facilities. One of the challenges for the center is making the parents aware of the importance of education for their children and to enable them to go to school for a couple of hours per day.

How to support this great cause?

You can make a once off payments or join the distant adoption program. Please find more information on the different programs below.

In order to support the cause, Shade for Children is working in tandem with an Italian NGO called A smile for Cambodia Onus. They’re basically the European branch of Shade for Children. Their contact details are below. All donations are made via Paypal or wire transfer. They issue invoices for tax purposes.

Franco Farao and Silvia Turati are heading A smile for Cambodia, based out of Milan. They do a great job fundraising and spending their valuable time twice a year at the center to help manage the project.

Alternatively, you can also contact us directly and we’ll happily introduce you to Franco and Silvia and answer any questions you may have.

The center runs two programs;

  1. DAY-CARE Center Program: Children of this program have English lesson and Khmer lesson five times a week. They receive support with donations of Hygienic kits, a school uniform and study material.
  2. Distant Adoption Program: Children of this program are matched with sponsors from different countries. The sponsors are called god-parents and they donate $20 per month for below activities;
    • School material, clothing etc: 45% – $9.00
    • Supplementary food: 32% – $6.40
    • Health care: 3% – $0.60
    • Social events: 2% – $0.40
    • Educational program: 5% – $1.00
    • Administration: 10% – $2.00
    • First aid: 3% – $0.60

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