We are in Cambodia and today is my birthday! While I would love to celebrate with reckless abandon, I am sobered by a country and a people who look like they have been abandoned. Blame it on the effects of the civil war or a corrupt government, yet this society is a bit of a mess. If you don’t know anything about Cambodia’s civil war, and some of our younger followers may not, click here.
Cambodia has some pretty shocking statistics. Thirty-five percent of the population lives in poverty, which is living on less than US$0.45 a day. Sixty percent of the population is under 18 years of age, so many of those in poverty are kids. Their parents are poor and uneducated, some could be dying of AIDS while others simply cannot afford to send their kids to school. So in Phnom Pehn alone, there are upwards of 20,000 kids hitting the streets every day. Drugs, abuse, or trafficking into the sex industry is the fate of many of them.
We’ve only been in Cambodia a few days and have already seen the huge amount of poverty. Kids with no shoes, or even no clothes, begging. Desperate adults, grabbing our arms as we pass, hoping a rich white person will give them some money. Trash, flilth, smog, it’s all here! And there is much hope too. Many countries and organizations have come to aid the Cambodian people.
So while I would really love a piece of Tiramisu of my birthday, I am going to ask for something a lot more lasting from all of you. Would you please consider making a donation to help the kids and, really, all Cambodians?
Child Safe International started in Cambodia and has grown into a network across multiple countries, all working towards the safety of children. Please read more about how they are working with Cambodians in the hospitality industry to make sure they are able to help these kids. In one example, Child Safe can train a taxi driver to watch for foreigners who may be looking for sex with a child and give the driver the tools to turn that foreigner away.
Friends International is the global manager of the Child Safe programs and they offer a secure, tax-deductible way to donate via Paypal. ANY dollar amount is welcomed. Please be sure to indicate in the box that you wish to donate to the Child Safe Network in Cambodia.
Thanks so much for considering the gift of safety and love for a Cambodian child. Let’s make sure they can enjoy their birthdays too. Please donate today.
42 years old! Whoa.