Sunrise Cambodia is a world-class charity working on the ground in Cambodia to give much-needed help to at-risk kids, struggling families and poor communities in some of the most poverty-stricken provinces of the country.

about sunrise cambodia orphanage

The first group of war orphans on the day they were given their first home by Geraldine Cox

Cambodia has a heart breaking recent history which has crippled this beautiful south east Asian country. During the 1960s and ’70s, while civil war raged in Cambodia, the USA carpet bombed the Cambodian countryside. The communists won the civil war and over the next four years, more than a quarter of the population was systematically murdered by its leader, Pol Pot. More than thirty years later, the disastrous impact on the gentle-natured people of Cambodia is still profound.

Sunrise Cambodia began in the early 1990s when a South Australian fifty-year old named Geraldine Cox took in a group of orphans she found fending for themselves near the Thai border. These were some of the orphaned grandchildren from Pol Pot’s murderous regime. Geraldine soon became “Mum to Many” as she took in street kids, orphans and the disabled to give them good food, a place to sleep, an education and lots of love.

With the need so great, Sunrise Cambodia has grown to support whole communities with much-needed sustainable development so that families can thrive: clean water, sanitation and healthcare, followed by education. With a team of 100 Cambodian staff and a small fundraising crew in Australia, Sunrise supports the education of almost 2000 children living in the community as well as all the needs of over 120 children living in residential care.

community development Sunrise Cambodia

Sunrise community development staff work on small projects for big impact – like providing whole villages with clean, safe drinking water so kids can go to school and mum and dad can go to work without illness

Your donations allow us to also provide vocational training and career and studies support for Sunrise graduates who wish to extend their their studies or skills, as well as running a social enterprise for training in hospitality and tourism.

In a village context, Sunrise community development staff work with community leaders to determine local needs and assist with fulfilling them. This can be anything from new housing, access to clean water and sanitation or workshops for family planning, domestic violence or alcohol and drug abuse. Community work makes a difference from the ground up and is the best way to have a long term, sustainable impact on Cambodia and to break the cycle of poverty.

Sunrise Cambodia has two residential care facilities, four education programs, one preschool and early learning centre, several local school partnership programs, a social enterprise, and numerous community projects going on at any given time. The work is entirely funded by our generous donors. The Australian Government does not fund this humanitarian work. We need your help.

Geraldine Cox and the kids in Cambodia
About Sunrise Cambodia
Photography by Richard Lyons

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