The PREVENTION of child trafficking project- Cambodia (Dec 12)

by tkos on January 18, 2013

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Put a post on Facebook with a picture of a small child and you will receive thousands of people who ‘like’ to raise awareness against child trafficking. Some people will even donate money to raise this awareness.

We’ve often wondered how all this awareness stops a poor family from wanting to sell their children.

Perhaps with the money raised, some NGO’s could buy these families computers or iPad’s, then they could get Facebook and be educated in regards to the awareness of child trafficking.

Or we could just focus on the root cause- poverty. And try to provide an opportunity, not a handout, to enable these families to empower themselves.

In Kampong Spue, Cambodia, we visited an NGO called the Sao Sary Foundation (SSF), who focus on the prevention of child trafficking by creating sustainable projects for poor families in the Kampong Speu province. They also run a child protection centre where they accommodate 40 vulnerable children. In the past, they have discovered children who have been sold, bought them back from the trafficker, reunited the child with their family and then empowered the family with employment to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Suffice to say, it was an incredible insight to a very different world.

With actions speaking louder than words, SSF can boast the following achievements:

  • 4 poorest villages had identified and assisted to economic empowerment
  • 40 at high risk children and victims are in our protection centre
  • 138 vulnerable children and youths attending classes at our learning centre
  • 9 at high risk children (2 boys) have finished their secondary (2) and high (7) schools with our support. They were the first members of their family to receive higher education.
  • Over 40 cases of rapes and trafficking are assisted. Mostly are cross border trafficking.
  • Over 100 poorest families have been supported through various means, such as micro business support, sanitation, water wells, house hold development, animal raising, vegetable gardening, employment etc
Mine victim

Former village chief, now blind and disabled due to a mine

The child traffickers highway, between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville can easily be blind to most. If we had not stopped in the small town of Kampong Spue, some 50km from Phnom Penh, we would not have learnt about the dangers faced every day by the local children and families, the struggle to educate and open the minds of the people to potential prosperity and most importantly, the excellent work carried out by Vichetr and the volunteers at Sao Sary Foundation.

We had the fortune to visit rural villages and slums to attempt to gain an understanding as to what life can be like for a land mine victim in debt from medical bills, or a family six months after a pregnant pig had been donated via SSF and another family who had been trained to make rice cakes. It was amazing to see the difference in the quality of life when people are empowered to help themselves through opportunity, not handouts.

Mr Vichetr Uon started Sao Sary Foundation five years after his father was assassinated in 1998. Mr Sao Sary was a humanitarian and had devoted his life to helping others. Today, SSF continues that legacy.

We have proudly donated US$850 to SSF to support three families through their agriculture and livelihood program.

Find out how to volunteer or donate by clicking through the logo below

ssf 2012 logo

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

catherine mcnally January 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

Great stuff guys! :)

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