Hope for Cambodian Children is a Community-Based Care Organisation which works with the most disadvantaged people in Cambodia, particularly in the Province of Battambang. We help children of all ages by providing support to their families to help keep families healthy and together. We also endeavour to provide pathways to independence for these children and families through the 10 different programs we offer.
All of the children are now living back in their local community with family or relatives, supported by HOPE. In addition, a small group of children are in Foster Care, with a family vetted by HOPE; a few are living in a Pagoda with Buddhist monks, and one family is living in Group Home-Based Care with a trusted ex-house mother from our Community Centre. All of these arrangements have been made in consultation with the children and are constantly monitored by our Government representatives and Welfare staff from HOPE.
This program selects a mother or set of both parents and approves them to look after orphaned child/ren where it is just not safe or feasible for them to live at home with their family. HOPE’s success has ensured that we keep siblings together, we hold strong views about keeping siblings together at all costs.
64 poor and vulnerable toddlers from 3 to 6 years old come to education classes at our Community Centre, Monday to Friday, from 7:00 am to 10:30 am. The children are given a uniform, attend classes, have an exercise program and have a nutritious breakfast each day..
We have a MoU with the Battambang Aids Committee. We are also guided and managed by our Joint partners – The Aids Department of the Provincial Hospital and Home-Based Care Team (this is similar to child services in Australia). While HOPE believes that breast feeding is the best option, in some circumstances mothers are unable to safely breastfeed. When recommended by the Home-Based Care Team, HOPE provides milk formula and careful instruction to these mothers.
54 children, (99% boys) off the streets and from poorer local communities play competitive soccer under HOPE’s banner in SALT’s Battambang wide sporting program. SALT is another NGO that uses sports as its lead to re-engage children. Hope provides these children with uniforms, training, drinks and transport to and from their games.
We have a sister NGO in Siem Reap that runs qualified and certified training courses, such as Motor Mechanic, Motorbike mechanic, chef, hospitality, sewing, make-up, hairdressing (male and female) and fingernail art and massage. These are hands-on courses and they have proven very successful with teenagers from HOPE, some of whom have since started successful careers.
Keeping families together comes in many forms of different types of assistance. We believe that no matter what the current situation, the outcome will be better if the mother and child/ren stay together. We do not break families up.
This is a program where we offer help to poor and vulnerable families by building them a new home or by doing repairs and renovations to their existing home. We may also be asked by the Government to help a family with food/utilities, school supplies, rent assistance or ongoing emotional support.
HOPE rents selected accommodation for approved young adults who are attending university or a skills-based training program. HOPE also covers the cost of the university or training course. Most teenagers come from within our re-integration programs or are introduced to us through Government agencies.
270 community students come to English and Commuter classes each afternoon, Monday to Friday. Classes are age dependant and run from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Only children from poor families are enrolled.