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Five shining stories from 2017

2017 has been another massive year for CCT and with your support we’ve accomplished some pretty special things. While there were plenty of successes, check out five shining moments that stood out to our team in 2017!

1.     CCT founder Tara Winkler and CCT local ambassador Sinet Chan gave a voice to millions of children around the world when they testified at the Australian Inquiry into Establishing a Modern Slavery Act.

The trafficking of children into orphanages for the purpose of fundraising through orphanage tourism has now been placed squarely on the national agenda in Australia. Tara and Sinet were able to highlight the crucial need for children to grow up with the love and protection of a family.

Listen to Tara and Sinet’s testimony here.

2.    CCT’s holistic family-based care model was scaled up to an additional 11 villages as a part of one of the biggest social work projects in Cambodia.

Chhea (right) and Chanvotey (left) are two of CCT’s newly-trained Village-Based Social Workers, who reside – and now work – in villages identified as having vulnerable children, who are particularly at risk of being separated from their families and ending up in orphanages. In this pilot project, our Village-Based Social Workers are working directly within the villages to identify vulnerable children and work with their families to find solutions to keep their children safe and enable them to thrive. Stay tuned for more updates on the final results of this pilot next year!

Read more about how we empower communities.

3.  Tara’s Ted Talk, Why We Need to End the Era of Orphanages went global!

With more than 890K views (and still counting) on the ted.com site, we’re spreading the word about why all children deserve to grow up in a family.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch Tara’s TED talk here.

4.     We’ve started to see the long-term impact on some of the children and families we’ve been working with for several years.

We started working with Kakada (on the left), his brother Toit (on the right) as well as their younger brother Ponh Lo back in 2010. When CCT first met Kakada, he was just a young teen but was also carrying the immense responsibility of being the primary carer for his younger siblings. His energy was entirely taken up with raising his younger siblings, which meant his schooling, when he found the time to attend, was suffering. But Kakada had big dreams for his future and CCT has been working with him and his family to ensure that he has had every opportunity to fully realise those dreams.

We’re now incredibly proud to share the progress and achievements of this stellar, entrepeneurial family. Kakada, Toit and Ponh Lo now live together with their grandmother in Battambang City.

Toit, now 21, is at university studying IT and Ponh Lo, 18, is getting top grades in grade 10 at public high school. Kakada, who is now 23, landed a job after graduating university at a microfinance company, working as a Savings Officer. He has been working there for 2 years now and is on track for a promotion to a senior position as a Brand Manager. Kakada, ever ambitious, also has a long-term goal of setting up his own business with his grandmother, to set up and manage his own vegetable wholesale enterprise.

Kakada loves his life in Battambang living with his family. “Everything I do is for my family, I will do all that I can to support my family”. Kakada also had this message to share: “What I want to say is that CCT has always helped my family, they always supported us which meant I had enough time to spend on my studying. We can always talk to CCT to help us with advice and the CCT social work team, like our social worker Samnang, is a very kind man. Before we had a very different life, but CCT has supported all four of us – me, my brothers and my grandmother – so that now we have money to buy food, to study and if we are sick we know we can go to hospital. I am so very thankful for CCT and I want to share my story, because it is a real story of how our lives have been changed”.

This sense of family, community and belonging really underscores so much of what we strive for at CCT – to create strong, resilient families and communities which enable children to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential in life. These results go to show the strength of family and why it’s best to help them escape poverty together.

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5.     CCT turned 10!

It’s hard to believe that ten years ago Tara and Jedtha started CCT after rescuing 14 children from a corrupt and abusive orphanage. So much has changed over the past decade: we’re no longer an orphanage, as every child is supported to live in a family. One thing that has remained unchanged over this time, though, is our commitment to focus on the individual: to treat every child and family as unique and work collaboratively with them to build brighter futures for their children.

We’ve got so many exciting things in the pipeline for 2018 and we’re extremely happy that you can join us on this journey! Thanks once again for your incredible support which makes all our work possible.