Sunrise Cambodia began as an orphanage in Phnom Penh in the early nineties. Founder Geraldine Cox took in a small group of abandoned children found trying to survive in the jungle near the border of Thailand. Over the years, Geraldine has been Mum to Many for more than a thousand kids who have escaped abject poverty and abuse to grow up in full time residential care at Sunrise Cambodia with good food, a place to sleep, school and lots of love and kindness. Sunrise kids have gone on to finish school, earn degrees and have their own families. But the need in Cambodia is still so great with more than 80% of the population living on less than $2 a day and so many kids at risk.
These days, we have moved away from the orphanage model in favour of community development and support for families as a whole. This is a very good plan. Kids are better off at home with their family. Sometimes the village just needs some extra support to stay above the poverty line and keep their kids safe and well. It is much more cost effective to support a village as a whole than to institutionalise children. Much of our time and effort these days is finding the families of trafficked children and repatriating them home, then supporting those villages to offer education and health services.
There will always be some kids in Cambodia who need full time residential care, especially the disabled and HIV positive kids. At Sunrise Cambodia, there are several hundred children who live with us in three homes staffed by Cambodians. It costs $350 a month to house, feed and educate a child in full time care. Some kids need more specialist medical care and attention to serious disabilities and medical conditions.
Every little bit helps.
The Sunrise Cambodia sponsorship program is a way for you to have a profound effect on the future of Cambodia. Not only will you give life-changing education to some of the poorest kids in the world, you will also directly transform whole families and communities.