After the war, the toll on Cambodian people was immense. Most of the people remaining had lost members of their families, leaving countless widows and orphans. In addition, many were left disabled from the war and it’s after effects such as land mines.
The psychological trauma from years of war, compounded by the enduring suffering of many survivors, began to manifest in dangerous activities. An increase was seen in drug and alcohol addiction, the spread of communicable and venereal diseases. Violence within families, sexual abuse of children and smuggling of children for sexual abuse, as well as other criminal activities became widespread. Moreover, the two villages AFCC has begun its work in were forced to relocate to the forest during the civil wars and regimes between 1970-1979 and 1993-1998. This meant that they could not build schools or any human resources to develop the communities.
The entireties of these populations are farmers. In the day they work on the land and in the night they go to the forest to hunt and find food for their families, but this is also becoming more difficult as natural resources are diminishing because of deforestation. After their rice harvesting, most people from the villages leave to work in Thailand illegally. Sometimes, Thai police catch them and send them back or even imprison them. This is the only option for these people with no education, employment or income.
The majority of children give up their studies at primary school in order to help their parents work in the fields, which means there is an extremely high level of illiteracy in these communities. In some cases where they are able to finish primary school, they are unable to continue their studies as Secondary School is 10km away from their homes and High School is over 28km from their homes. Without any form of transportation, it is almost impossible for them to get there. In addition, there is lack of education and understanding of healthy eating and sanitation. Also, the water is not potable during the dry season, but there is no other choice, leaving communities with very bad illnesses. Growing up seeing this horrific crisis with my own eyes has instilled a great drive in me to do something to help the people of rural Cambodia. Therefore I am establishing Action for Cambodia’s Children. I have started my projects at Thlok Kang Primary School in the remote area of the Siem Reap province. We have seen the incredible difference our projects have made so far. With your help, we are determined to continue our essential work to support vulnerable communities in rural Cambodia.
Action For Cambodia’s Children will ensure all children in rural communities in Cambodia will receive the education and knowledge about health care. Education is the key factor to help them develop themselves, family and economic self-sufficiency, as well as personal well-being for the individual family and the whole society.