Ending the era of orphanages


We’ve led the way, transforming from an orphanage to family empowerment

TED Talk, Why we need to end the era of orphanages, 2016


ABC Australian Story, The House of Tara, 2014


Testimony at the Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into Modern Slavery, 2017


Published book, How (Not) to Start an Orphanage, currently being developed into a feature film


Our story

Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT) was co-founded by Jedtha Pon and Tara Winkler in 2007 to rescue 14 children from an abusive orphanage in Battambang, Cambodia. Since then, CCT has evolved from a rescue model to an empowerment model that’s revolutionising child protection.

Learn more

The problem: downstream models

Across the world, child protection systems are focused on downstream, end-stage interventions, which cause children to unnecessarily end up in “the system” and subjected to trauma that stays with them for life.

That is not child protection.

Take a deep dive

The solution: look upstream…

CCT has an upstream model of child protection called the Village Hive that prioritises prevention and early intervention.

It is being integrated into public systems in Cambodian villages to achieve:

  • Community-driven child protection
  • Prevention of trauma
  • Empowerment through shifting power
  • Lasting, systemic change

At only $10 per person, per annum it is a cost-effective model for Cambodian communities.

Learn more about the Village Hive

Shifting the power

CCT has launched a pilot of the Village Hive across Battambang District. This pilot will build an evidence base to scale the Village Hive model nationally, resulting in the first prevention-focused child protection system in the world.

Learn more about our exit strategy

Our track record

Over the last 14 years, countless families have reached self-reliance and exited our programs, our social enterprise restaurant Jaan Bai is run by local Khmer youth and our computing program has been fully integrated into the national curriculum and is delivered by the public education system.

Actionable exit strategies are built into all we do. Our success is defined by our work living on in the hands of the community to create sustainable, systemic change.

Learn more about our track record

Life-changing stories

Ride Along with CCT Social Workers on the ground, putting the unique model into action.

Seeking angel investors

Help us build the evidence base required to scale the model nationally, resulting in the first prevention-focused child protection system in the world.

Make It Happen