Monday, August 26, 2013

Life as a Commune Focal Point for Women and Children

By Hun Sovadhanak


KAMPONG THOM, Cambodia, July 2013 - On a dry, hot Monday morning in Kampong Thom province, central Cambodia, 62-year-old Va Kimleath meets with a group of women and their children under the shade of large tree in a remote village named Roka in Sangkat (commune) Srayov. As the commune committee focal point for women and children, Kimleath, is conducting one of her monthly discussions with vulnerable women. 

Kimleath adv
ocates for women and children’s issues in the commune’s 13 villages and contributes to the decision-making process on the commune council to improve basic living conditions and create awareness of vital social services including birth registration and preschool education. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A long way back home

Trafficked Cambodian children being reintegrated with their families


BATTAMBANG, Cambodia, July 2013 - Sombath*, 21, from Battambang province, northwest Cambodia on the border with Thailand remembers growing up with his widowed mother, Sina*, and six older siblings in a household where they did not have enough to eat. His mother earned no more than a dollar a day growing flowers for sale. Sombath rarely went to school because he could not pay for school materials and fees. His brothers and sisters would travel to Thailand to work illegally and send money back home to support the family. 

Photo: © Komar Rikreay/2013
Sombath (right) practices his make-up skills 
with a client as his trainer (left) supervises.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

UNICEF and partners work to reunite families

BATTAMBANG, Cambodia, July 2013 – Kunthea*, a friendly 9-year-old, spent close to two years of her life in residential care together with her older sister Raksa*, now 13. Kunthea was only 6 at the time, her sister was 10. Looking back on the experience she recalls, “I missed my mother, my brothers, my friends and my home so much. I cannot express the sadness I felt, but it hurt and I found it difficult to breathe. I felt home sick and cried a lot, especially at night. I sometimes had nightmares because of it”.

©UNICEF Cambodia/2012/Soyorn Choun
Kunthea* (name changed) on the left with her mother 
and sisters.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Growing up in Cambodia: Vet Bo aged 16



Vet Bo should be in Grade 10 at school with children of his age, however, he recently completed Grade 6 with 11-year-olds because he lacked the required transfer documents to prove his level of attainment at each school he attended during his family's frequent moves around Cambodia as they looked for work.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Growing up in Cambodia: Vet Bo aged 16

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 5 August 2013 - Vet Bo should be in Grade 10 at school with children of his age, however, he recently completed Grade 6 with 11-year-olds because he lacked the required transfer documents to prove his level of attainment at each school he attended during his family’s frequent moves around Cambodia as they looked for work.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Svay Rieng and the challenge to eliminate malnutrition

The little Saroeurn Kunthea looking at the leaflet,
which shows the villagers how to prepare nutritional food for their children.
© UNICEF Cambodia 2013/Pericles Carvalho

SVAY RIENG, Cambodia, 2 August 2013 - One of the most interesting things about being a journalist is being able to tell the world stories about places and people many would never otherwise know. For me, there’s a fascination in discovering new territories and finding people who are “off the global radar”. Located in the southeast of Cambodia, right on the border with Vietnam, Svay Rieng province is one of those places: one of the less developed regions of the country, dissected by a main road - National Highway No 1 - which connects Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

UNICEF and partners work to keep families together


Phalin (name changed), left, in pink vest, selling fruit at the bus station.
©UNICEF Cambodia/2013/Molika Meas
 KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, July 2013 – Phalin*, a humble but smiling 15-year-old, is selling mangos, pineapples and eggs after school at the bus station to earn a modest income to support herself and her great-grandmother.