Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Lighthouse Orphanage


http://lighthouseorphanage.com
This orphanage is based in Phnom Penh and cares for 108 abandoned children between the ages of 3 and 18. Like most others, it does not receive any form of funding from official bodies, and currently the only support comes from donation by locals and tourists.

Girls Bathroom-they handwash and hang out their own clothes



The donations of money and food is barely enough to keep the orphanage running. Education plays an important role in their lives and all the kids have english and computer lessons in two basic classrooms on the property. They also attend a local school which is free, but they need to buy school uniforms, books, pencils etc.

We knew the orphanage needed rice, the base of every Cambodian meal, so on our first visit we stopped by the rice shop to buy 3 huge 50kg bags.





We arrived at lunchtime and after seeing their lunch menu, (plain rice and watery 'soup' with a few greens swimming around) on the next visit we went to the local markets first and brought big bags of meat, fish and veges, much to their joy.

Meat Market


Mr Lee, the director, gave us a tour of the grounds, classrooms and kids rooms. The first thing that struck me was the fact that many of the kids were sleeping (3 to a bed) on filthy disintegrating foam or no mattress at all-just a thin plastic mat on hard timber. Forget sheets.


After a chat with Mr Lee about the other much needed items, we agreed that the funds were best spent on new mattresses. So the next day, off we went with our trusty Tuk tuk driver, and after wild goose chases, rivers of sweat and price bartering we succeeded. The kids were ecstatic.




On our first visit we presented the children with the colourful wall hanging created by the kids at the Peregian Kindergarten, as well as the coloured pencils from the kindy families. We explained to a sea of brown smiling faces how the Aussie kids across the ocean cared about them and wanted to give them something special.



We had fun hanging out and playing, reading stories we brought with us and talking with the children, gaining insights to their lives, worlds apart from our children at home.
Below, Map reads me a story.


They drew some beautiful colour pictures with sweet little messages for us to take home to the kindy kids at Peregian to say thanks. Needless to say, our hearts were brimming (let alone our eyes)





One of the resident dogs had recently birthed a huge litter of cute puppies, who receive lots of hugs and nurturing from the kids.

8 comments:

  1. I loved your pictures and blog. It is wonderful too see people helping the Cambodian children.I have recently returned from Cambodia and was very moved by what I saw and heard. It is a beautiful country but it is the people that make it so special. They have incredible dignity , resourcefulness in the face of such adversity and great generosity of spirit. I was shocked at my ignorance of the brutality and extent of the genocide and the impact the prolonged Civil War has had on life today. It appears in the Uk Cambodia doesn't have a voice . I wanted to share my experiences with my friends both the good and the bad so I made a video I would like to share it with you

    Liz
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbv0BTzF4Sg&feature=youtu.be

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  2. Oh wow, I just went to the Lighthouse Orphanage in Cambodia last year. It was an amazing experience!

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