The children of Svay Thom

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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Srey Pun and Nah


When visiting the Angkor temples in Cambodia at the beginning of August, I was amazed by the architectural brilliance and size of Angkor Wat and the Angkor Thom complex. What really struck me though was the number of children trying to make a living by selling goods outside the temples. Children that live just outside the walls of one of the most magnificent man made structures but have never been into the temples, either because they are not allowed or because they cannot afford it. Most importantly, I was struck by their attitude. They were happy, friendly and, above all, very eager to learn. Instead of complaining about having to go to school they were excited to demonstrate their knowledge and were thirsty for more. And of course always eager to play with us.

Tet-nee and Ratana
Given that education is not free in Cambodia, parents usually can't afford to send their children to school, so most of them end up selling goods on the streets from a very young age.

In Siem Reap there are numerous projects and initiatives whose purpose is to provide education, housing and support to underprivileged children in Cambodia. Children that either have to make a living by selling goods on the streets (or outside the temples) or simply cannot live with their families anymore because their parents are unable to provide for them.

I spent 3 weeks volunteering at an orphanage which provides care for a total of 45 children between the ages of 5 and 16. These are children that were either living on the streets or came from destitute families. They have never tried chocolate and none of them has ever seen the sea. They live in a climate that has a minimum average temperature of 32 degrees and believe that 25 degrees is cold, since they have never experienced anything below that. But these are facts of little interest. What is captivating is that these children appreciate what they have, know how to share it and know how to give. The sense of community and support for each other is truly inspirational.


This page is dedicated to the children of Svay Thom and Srasrong.



Stigen says:
Its a pity they can? t go to school... but at least they learn english.
Posted on: Aug 18, 2009
flying_dolphin7 says:
Cutie childer with the charming smile:)
They are naive and innocent:)
I bet you have so much fun with them, interesting travel blog:)
Posted on: Oct 27, 2008
semiperipatetic says:
yes, their English is amazing. Most of them pick it up from tourists since they cannot afford to go to school. Better not to give money though :)
Posted on: Oct 27, 2008
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Srey Pun and Nah
Srey Pun and Nah
Tet-nee and Ratana
Tet-nee and Ratana
Srey pun
Srey pun
Tet-nee in big shoes
Tet-nee in big shoes
Ratana and Tet-nee
Ratana and Tet-nee
Kat
Kat
Psai
Psai
Mau
Mau
Kat trying to get something off th…
Kat trying to get something off t…
Mau
Mau
mui...
mui...
Sohka and I showing off our new ta…
Sohka and I showing off our new t…
Kat and Sokha
Kat and Sokha
Mau being rude again!
Mau being rude again!
Tet-nee, Ratana and Kat
Tet-nee, Ratana and Kat
loving siblings
loving siblings
after class with Tet-nee
after class with Tet-nee
checking out the tv at the local s…
checking out the tv at the local …
and I thought there was nothing he…
and I thought there was nothing h…
Sopiak, Nari and Darth Vader
Sopiak, Nari and Darth Vader
Yun and Psai
Yun and Psai
Kat
Kat
A typical tuk tuk load to Sra Sron…
A typical tuk tuk load to Sra Sro…
Swimming at Sra Srong lake in the …
Swimming at Sra Srong lake in the…
in mid air
in mid air
splash!
splash!
ready to throw Ratana in the water
ready to throw Ratana in the water
lunch at COSO II
lunch at COSO II
Tet-nees first milestone
Tet-nees first milestone
Sokha
Sokha
Nari 1
Nari 1
2
2
and 3!
and 3!
piggyback race
piggyback race
Sra Srong lake
Sra Srong lake
Ratana and Psai at the temple
Ratana and Psai at the temple
go COSO II!
go COSO II!
the dream team - michael, jo, beck…
the dream team - michael, jo, bec…
with Kat, Srey Neat and Malley
with Kat, Srey Neat and Malley
Nah
Nah
Mau
Mau
demonstrating apsara on the kitche…
demonstrating apsara on the kitch…
coconut dance
coconut dance
dancing to cambodian tunes!
dancing to cambodian tunes!
at earthwalkers
at earthwalkers
ready!
ready!
practising the songs
practising the songs
sen
sen
Nari
Nari
Nari and La
Nari and La
Saying goodbye
Saying goodbye
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling