Our Story

Sunrise Cambodia

Sunrise Cambodia is a sustainable community development organisation with a focus on Cambodia’s most vulnerable children and the communities in which they live.

Cambodia’s turbulent political history turned a once peaceful nation into a violent battlefield, leaving the country’s good-natured people on the brink of despair.

The civil war of the 1960s and 1970s coincided with the US attack on the Cambodian countryside, devastating communities and prompting widespread poverty. Shortly after, a brutal genocide instigated by radical communist leader, Pol Pot, saw over a quarter of the population systematically murdered – a barbaric act where he sought to advance his political ideologies of revolution and eradicate the educated. More than 40 years later, the deep loss of an entire generation is still widely profound.

orphanages in cambodia

Humble Beginnings

Sunrise Cambodia first lent a helping hand in the early 1990s. It was then when fifty-year-old Geraldine Cox was adamant to help a group of displaced war orphans living in appalling conditions close to the Cambodian-Thai border. Pol Pot’s brutal regime had claimed the lives of their parents, and Geraldine refused to turn a blind eye to their need for help.

With very little resources, Geraldine gave everything she could to provide care for the orphans, giving them nourishing food, a safe place to call home, the opportunity for an education and the nurturing love of a mother.

Rebuilding From the Ground Up

Within a short period, Geraldine was able to build outstanding rapport with the local community. As her charity work expanded, so did her vision, and she aspired to focus on rebuilding lives through sustainable community development. She overcame every possible obstacle and remained committed to her vision in helping the future of Cambodia.

Celebrating 25 Years

After 25 years, Sunrise Cambodia has grown to support whole communities with healthcare, clean water, sanitation and education facilities so that families can prosper. With these resources, as well as the determination to rebuild their lives, the children of Cambodia are able to be optimistic for a brighter future.

"They are part of the next generation that's going to change Cambodia and that gives me huge satisfaction — I can see them striving to improve their country." — Geraldine Cox AM