» » From sleeping in some cartons, to open a restaurant

From sleeping in some cartons, to open a restaurant

pagoskawaii 9 de February del 2017 Business
Sopeak, a 25-year-old guy left his house when he became orphan at the age of 14. He slept on the streets, near Tonle Sap river, at the tourist district Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Like other kids and young people, and families in the country, he slept using cartons surrounded by restaurants that offered beer jars at a 50 USD cents.

“Happy pizzas” (with marijuana), massage rooms, and foreigners without hurry, wearing shorts and a camera over their necks. One day, someone spoke about an organization called Friends that helped youngsters in difficult environments, and he went to see what was going on.

“I was formed, oriented, and they gave me a job” remembered Sopeak 11 years later on the NGOs stoves Friends International. He was a pistachio t-shirt, and he carries a bag. Now he is a cook trainer.

The situation in Cambodia.

In Cambodia, there are 180,000 school-age children who do not attend school and half (47%) of the country’s children do not reach sixth grade, according to UNICEF data. Between 10,000 and 20,000 children work on the capital streets. 1,200 of them live alone on the streets.

A Mercedes and a family sleeping on cartons.

The idea of these Friends was born in April 1994, when Sébastien Marot, a young French political scientist, traveled to Cambodia. The genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979) had not yet healed, nor did the two subsequent decades of economic stagnation. There were many families sleeping in the street.

One night, when Marot was returning from dinner, near the central market, a luxurious Mercedes passed before him, a few meters from children sleeping on cartons. That image motivated him, and he started to take food to kids. He then realized that he was not the only one. two other friend, Barbara and Mark were also willing to help. They all together opened a shelter for kids on the streets. They started with 17, and now there are thousands.

Only in 2015, in Phnom Penh, Friends contributed with 5,000 children attending public schools; Trained and found employment of 1,500 young people and assisted 8,000 parents in caring for their children. They are presented in other locations in Cambodia (Siem Reap, Kampong Cham and Kampong Speu) and have development projects in Laos, Indonesia, Thailand and Switzerland, where since 2014, they have been working on responsible tourism activities.

Feedback Activities.

The NGO programs are interconnected. Everything done there is good for others. In the sewing workshop, on a small table, next to a sewing machine, one of the students’ folds and places a pile of school uniforms. Cut-and-draw apprentices sew uniforms for children from families who cannot afford them. What it is prepared on the kitchen during the classes is served for lunch to the center students, and families that come from the street.

This organization if forming leaders who can change other people’s lives, and even the country way of living.


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