I have recently returned from a quick trip to Siem Reap and our project on the dump site in the city.
With the support of SK Dreams and Hina Foundation, the project is now in full swing. The center in the nearby village is totally operational, offering a safe place for babies while their mothers work during the day: we have up to 15 babies at any given time.
The center also offers health care services, which is essential considering the risks people face when working amongst broken glass, syringes, pieces of iron and decomposing trash with little or no protection.
For this reason the center offers a place for parents and children to wash themselves and their clothes. Friends is now able, thanks to a purification center, to offer clean water to all of them.
In addition the center has become a lively community center. During the day younger children can come and play while in the afternoons youths gather to socialize.
The impact is already visible: there are no more young children working on the dump-site and Friends was able to immediately reintegrate 42 of these children back into public school. One young woman was the first to attend vocational training, learning cooking at our Kaliyan Mith/Friends vocational training center.
The team worked very hard to make this idea (which we had only a year ago) a reality and as we expected, the impact is tremendous. The team is currently talking to mothers working on the dump-site, children and young people to determine which services are the most important, what can be improved and what additional services we can initiate. More soon…