Thousands of children in Cambodia are living in institutions, like orphanages, even though around 80% of these children have families that could be caring for them given some support. When children grow up in institutions, without the love and care of a family, their development, safety, and well-being suffer.
At CCT, we work to build a world where all children, regardless of their background, can grow up in safe and caring families and communities. Our holistic approach addresses the root causes of family separation and prevents children from being trafficked, subjected to child labour or ending up in orphanages. We also assist children in orphanages to return safely to families.
The cycle of poverty
For Cambodian families living in poverty, meeting their children’s basic needs can be a struggle. A lack of access to food, water, shelter and healthcare creates a high-risk environment in which children are prone to illness and malnourishment. These children are also often forced to spend their days on the street, begging or working to support themselves and their families. Therefore, children who are born into poverty are more likely to grow into adults who are unable to provide for their own children’s basic needs – perpetuating the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Without social support available to them, some families are left with no other choice but to entrust their children into the care of institutions in the hope they will receive an education and a path out of poverty. However, institutionalisation has long-term and irreversible effects on children’s development, which can trap them deeper in poverty. CCT supports children and their families to break the cycle of poverty together.
In Cambodia, family separation is one of the biggest threats to children’s well-being and its consequences are far-reaching: broken families, aggravated intergenerational trauma, eroded communities, and dire outcomes for children growing up in institutions. CCT keeps children in families and out of harmful institutions by providing essential support to families at-risk of separation and reunifying institutionalised children with families.
Education has a ripple effect that can lift individuals, families, communities and even countries out of poverty. But poverty often acts as a barrier for children to access education. Lack of education not only traps children in the cycle of poverty but also contributes to children being separated from their families. At CCT, we pave the way for children to access quality education while remaining in their families and communities.
Supportive communities can make all the difference for children and families in crisis. When communities are nurturing, families are stronger and children thrive. At CCT, we involve the entire community to identify needs and solutions to better support children and families. We strengthen safety nets by expanding access to essential health care and social support and collaborate with community members to promote the well-being, safety, learning and health of children.
Kinship care — a story of resilience and belonging
Siblings Bopha* (14), Visal* (10) and Nakry* (6) have endured so much adversity in their young lives. Just four years ago they were living happily at home with their parents and grandmother. However, their parents developed an addiction to gambling and suddenly everything the family owned had to be sold to escape debt, including their home. The children’s parents moved to Thailand in 2013, leaving them
A Day in the life of Dalin
Dalin exudes experience and empathy, fitting qualities for her work strengthening families and child protection systems. As a CCT Social Worker, working within the Department of Social Affairs to reunite families and capacity build with government social workers, Dalin’s efforts are well recognised, not only by the families who are thrilled to have their children come home, but also by all partners
Thavy’s story: the power of a hand up, not a handout
After laying out fresh trays of food and water for the chicks and ducklings, Thavy* began preparing mangoes and beans in big jars, soaking them in a mixture of fish sauce, salt, sugar and water. The mother-of-five sells these sour fruits and vegetables at local markets, and festivals, earning between $5 and $10 each day.
A better chance at life for baby Phalla
When Phalla* was born, he did not cry or look a healthy newborn colour. His mother Chenda* said it wasn’t until about thirty minutes passed that he began to cry and turned from purple to pink. Chenda and her husband Dara* took their baby boy home and all seemed fine. When Phalla was 8 months old, his father Dara noticed that