In the lead-up to Christmas we're travelling around Asia Pacific highlighting a different grassroots charity each day that really needs your support. This year has been incredibly hard, so if you have any coins to spare, please reach out. On our second day of the campaign, we travel to Cambodia.
Siem Reap-based charity Feeding Dreams hopes to raise Cambodian children out of poverty.
Feeding Dreams Cambodia
Siem Reap-based Feeding Dreams helps poverty-stricken Cambodian children get an education and, ultimately, employment in the hospitality industry.
However, following the pandemic, local media is now reporting ‘near-apocalyptic scenes’ in Siem Reap. The mass exodus of overseas residents and tourists has arguably hit this town worse than any other part of the country. With business owners facing the prospect of years of fewer arrivals, many have simply walked away.
Popular dining areas such as Pub Street used to provide an important source of income and employment for the town, but with the tourists gone, the once-bustling restaurants and bars are now boarded up and just a handful of hotels and guesthouses remain open.
According to Feeding Dreams, with children unable to attend school, most days are spent in their slums, with many going hungry.
The charity is now urgently appealing for international help.
“There is much sadness and fear in every village,” says Kerry Huntly, director of Feeding Dreams Cambodia. "I am extremely concerned that all the work we have put in over the years to get our poor students educated and employed in the hospitality industry will all come undone. Most of these kids won't have jobs to return to."
The charity has been inundated with requests for emergency support, food and medication. It is also working with national and international child protection organisations to stop children falling victim to paedophilia and trafficking.
If you would like to donate, go to feedingdreamscambodia.org.
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