Monday, December 15, 2014

Saving babies’ lives in remote Cambodia

By Anne-Sophie Galli

© UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Anne-Sophie Galli
“Giving birth is like crossing a river.” Many Cambodians consider giving birth the most dangerous moment in a woman’s life.
KRATIE, Cambodia, 25 December 2014 – It was the middle of the night when Ol Sary Sol felt strong contractions. All preparations had been made, so with her husband, mother and uncle, they rushed onto their motorbike and into the darkness heading for the health centre in the next town, more than an hour away. Twenty-four year old Ol Sary Sol was afraid that she might give birth too soon – in the dense forest or on the dusty road where she could get bitten by a snake. But then the pain took over. The next thing she remembers is a midwife holding up her newborn son. “So we made it!” said Ol Sary Sol.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cambodia: a better education for every child?

By Martina Tomassini

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 12 December 2014 — Twenty-five years ago, children’s rights were acknowledged for the first time around the world with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of CRC, we look at the progress that Cambodia has achieved in education. Channra Chum, Education Specialist at UNICEF Cambodia since 2004, helps us understand what has changed and what still needs to change to ensure all children in Cambodia receive a quality education.

 © UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Nhean Sroeung 
Channra Chum with students at Damnak Kantuot Primary School in Kampong Trach, Kampot province.  Channra visited this school earlier in 2014 with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and the Swedish Embassy to monitor how funds have been used to improve teaching supporting the most vulnerable children, including children with disabilities and children from poor households. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Children, not toys.

How I discovered the scary truth about Cambodia’s orphanage tourism and how volunteers could be hurting the very children they want to help.  

A ChildSafe campaign, in collaboration with Friends International and sponsored by UNICEF.

By Jemma Somervail 

Did you know that 77% of children in Cambodian orphanages are not actually orphans? A few months ago I didn’t either. Fortunately I came across this campaign which provided a much needed reality check.

My name is Jemma and I am a communications volunteer at UNICEF Cambodia. Like many other travellers, I was considering donating my time and money to volunteer in one of the country’s hundreds of orphanages. I was imagining consoling crying babies, reading story books to cute toddlers and playing soccer with the older kids. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Twenty-five years later: is Cambodia a better place for children?

By Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 20 November 2014 — All children have one thing in common: their rights. And by this I mean the right to life, health, education, protection and play. These are all fundamental children’s rights that were acknowledged for the first time on a global scale twenty-five years ago, with a document called the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In this document the world recognised that children are not possessions, but people who have human rights and agreed to protect these rights of our children, the next generation of parents and leaders.

© UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Anne-Sophie Galli

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Religious leader in Cambodia campaigns to end violence against children

By Anne-Sophie Galli

© UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Anne-Sophie Galli
“I deeply regret what I did to my children,” says Pastor Sreng Sophal seen here praying in his church.

KANDAL, Cambodia, 4 November 2014 – As a former military officer, there was a time when Sreng Sophal had it all: money, power and a group of soldiers who reported to him. At home, if his own children refused to follow his commands, he would beat them. In Sreng Sophal’s world violence was standard. “Beating my children was normal to me – like for most people here”, he said. “I was hit by my dad and he was hit by his parents and teachers.”