Cambodia: Part One
I have to admit that when the Love Without Boundaries’ Board of Directors first decided to expand our work outside the borders of China, another location in Asia seemed like a natural progression. Same continent, right? (Despite every country being completely unique, of course.) But exactly where in Asia was the biggest question we faced, which I spent months carefully researching. Last week I found myself walking barefoot down a muddy road to one of several rural villages in Cambodia, where the hundreds of children I met there completely stole my heart.
If you are like me, much of what you know about Cambodia involves the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge, a devastating period in their history which resulted in the deaths of almost two million people, or an unthinkable one-fourth of the population. Cambodia became, in the far too simplest terms, a country of trauma, with the effects of the Civil War still impacting their society today. Life in the impoverished rural villages remains difficult, with many having no electricity or clean water, and a staggering 40% of children under the age of five being malnourished.
As if that wasn’t enough, Cambodia has the highest rate of child labor in southeast Asia and remains a country plagued by sex trafficking, especially along the border regions. Without a doubt, the term “vulnerable” sadly applies to tens of thousands of children here.
Over the next few days, I would like to share with you some of my journey, as it was a trip which impacted me deeply. Just like on my trip to Uganda last month, I found myself meeting with a true “world changer,” an incredibly kind man named Leng. I can’t wait to share more about the truly innovative ideas he has set up in this region.
There is just so much good which can be done for children here, through medical help, nutrition, education, and foster care – all of the areas about which LWB is passionate. I hope over the next few days, as you read more about the children I met, you will join in our excitement to begin impacting lives in Cambodia.
Together, we can continue to spread the truth that EVERY CHILD COUNTS.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer