Cambodia Children's House of Peace
- Siem Reap
To create a safe and nurturing home for orphaned, vulnerable and poor children of Cambodia, and to provide a supportive family for their growth, health and education as productive citizens. To provide growth in body, mind and spirit for vulnerable children in a community of peace.
Cambodia is a country still rebuilding after a two decades long civil war, the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge rule, and the following long civil unrest. This legacy has lead to 30 percent of the population living below the national poverty line and 80 percent of the people still leaving in the countryside, sustained mostly only through farming. Those conditions worked together to leave many children vulnerable. When these vulnerable children cannot be cared for by family or their communities, Santepheap is there to offers them a safe alternative.
Through Santeheap children gain an education, are provided with nutrition, health care, shelter, recreation, cultural and spiritual support, while connections with any remaining relatives are maintained. Our education program supplements the public education, though additional English, Khmer, math, chemistry, history, physics, biology, and geography classes. Classes both at local public school and at Santepheap, free time and playfulness give a balanced rhythm to the lives of our children, who all consider each other brothers and sisters. We are also committed to maintaining the connections between the children under our care and any remaining family. During Khmer new year and other traditional holidays, we provide safe transportation back to their home villages. Finally, before our older children leave Santepheap to pursue either higher education or a career, they are provided a transition program. Technological and vocational training are provided to interested youth, and scholarships to those who wish to attend university.
Our guiding principals are growth of the child in body, spirit, and mind within a community of peace. We thrive to meet the principals set down in by the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child,’ the best interest of the child; non-discrimination; right to life, survival and development; the participation of child in his or her own development and to have their views respected.
Cambodian Children's House of Peace is a residential home for 30 children between the ages of 6 and 18, and which provides shelter, food, clothing, education, health care, recreation, arts, moral development and all the other things children need to grow and develop into proper citizens.
The children come from the very poor countryside villages of Siem Reap Province, which lack sufficient resources for school, both as a community and within the families. Most children have one and a few have both surviving parents and some are orphaned or abandoned. There are usually many children in a family, which adds to the burden of adequately providing for them. Forty percent of the population is under the age of 18! Cambodia is still recovering from the devastation of the Khmer Rouge era, which ran from 1975-79, but then continued as a civil war until 1993. Virtually every family lost members to starvation, illness, and torture and execution during this reign of terror.
Our staff personally witness the transformation of the children from waif to thriving, happy and healthy in just a matter of weeks. The surviving parents and guardians from their extended families are so grateful for the support, assistance and education of their children. They visit and telephone because they really love and care for their children. During the school holidays, the children also good back to their families, who look after them as well as they can with their limited resources.
How You Can Help
We are always in need of volunteers, be it for a short or a longer time, with the children as an English teacher or in the office helping us with the working of our NGO! Please contact us if you are interested, and check out our facebook page, where previous volunteer have posted many pictures. We also now have our own volunteer accomodation only a few minutes away from the children's House, which makes it very easy to stay and volunteer with us!
Sunday Night Dance Show
Our children perform traditional Khmer dances every sunday night as part of our fundraising effort. The show is free but donations are welcome. If you are in town, come visit us.
We still heavily rely on the generosity of our guest, friends and donors. We really appreciate any donation made to us, be it financial donations or material ones. Please visit our website www.santepheap.org for more information. Thank you in advance.
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