Our vision is to see a Cambodia free from poverty, where all children grow up in families.
Our mission is to empower vulnerable children and families to escape the cycle of poverty. Our family preservation programs, education initiatives, and capacity building in local communities are what make our vision a reality.
The Global Orphanage Crisis
Estimates suggest that globally, there are 8 million children living in institutions and 80% of those children have at least one living parent. More than 60 years of international research has shown that growing up in institutions harms children. With 8 million children in the world growing up without the love, care and stability of a family, we are faced with a global crisis.
What is fueling the crisis? Sadly, it’s the well-intentioned donations of people who want to help better the lives of children but inadvertenly prop up a system which separates kids from their families.
So many people want to volunteer their time, and money, to help vulnerable children in Cambodia that orphanages pop up to meet the demand of well-intentioned orphanage tourists and volontourists. The Global Slavery Index country study on Cambodia has identified orphanage tourism and the flood of donations supporting residential care institutions as resulting in a boom of the number of kids living in orphanages, even when they have families who could care for them, given some support.
Poverty can mean that struggling parents often turn to orphanages as a means to pave a way out of poverty for their children, unaware of the harms that their children could be at risk of once they enter the institution. But no parent should ever have to make the choice of sending their child away.
Keeping families together
CCT works with families to grow the capacity of the family to keep kids safe and healthy. We do this by using a strengths-based social work framework called Signs of Safety. We look at all the factors which are keeping kids safe, healthy and on their way to reach their full potential and then we build the capacity of the family to amplify those strengths. What does this look like in practice?
- We enrol kids in public school to ensure they are receiving the education they deserve to have brighter prospects in life
- We support the family to access basic social services like healthcare and stable employment so that they are independent and healthy
- We work collaboratively with local communities to promote awareness about the benefits of family-based care and the harms of children entering institutions
- We advocate internationally to donors to ensure that they are not inadvertently fueling the crisis