Utilizing the help of short-term volunteers visiting from abroad, Family Care Cambodia (FCC) has undertaken new programs in the communities of Phnom Penh Thmai, Sen Sabbay, and Siem Riep.
“FCC’s primary focus within these communities is the care, education, health and training of the children of underprivileged families,” share project managers Alex and Ann Soldner. “This is accomplished through weekly classes and activities for the children, as well as our channeling supplies of donated food and clothing to the families. Additionally, we have also launched health and hygiene projects and have organized free medical checkups. Learning to keep clean is essential for these children as sickness and skin disease are rampant throughout the villages.”
In one such project, Swiss volunteer Manuel assisted in planting a vegetable garden for the children of a child protection shelter which will help supplement the children’s meager diet, while at San Sabbay, British volunteers organized special classes and activities for the children. “These activities have become the highlight of the children’s week,” say the Soldners.
In Siem Riep we are able to sponsor the salaries of two English teachers for Phom T’nahl School, allowing a total of two hundred underprivileged children to be able to attend regular English classes.
A major renovation project has been launched in Sen Sabbay village aimed at assisting needy families in the repair or rebuilding of their simple bamboo or tin houses. Many of these huts belong to elderly couples who have taken over the care of their young grandchildren, often because the children’s parents are sick or have died of AIDS.
In these shanty towns entire families often live in one room, often with holes in the wall, a caved in roof or sometimes no walls at all, just sheets, sarongs, old rice sacks or plastic bags hung to keep out the monsoon wind and rains.
"The cost of the simple log, bamboo and thatch building materials works out to about $20-$40 per dwelling, depending on the size and the state of disrepair,” say the Soldners. “In some cases we’re able to repair and in other cases we have to pull the old structure down and start from scratch.”
Family Care Cambodia recently signed a Memo of Understanding with the Cambodian government, signaling a greater desire to combine efforts for further humanitarian efforts within the country.