Cambodia is a country in South-East Asia, often described as “the country of the smile and the tear”.
Cambodians are friendly and helpful, but the events that took place during the reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge have left deep scars. During this period two million people lost their lives, the infrastructure was completely destroyed and many families were torn apart.
The consequences are still noticeable in daily life. Shortcomings in the field of education, in healthcare and in welfare services add to the hardships of the population, especially for those living in extreme poverty. The generation that grew up in or just after the Khmer Rouge period have often not come to terms with the traumas they suffered. This still leads to many problems with families, sucalcohol abuse and psychological problems. These problems often remain untreated, either because it is the subject of taboo or because there is a lack of facilities offering support.
Established in 2005, COLT was based in one of the poorest districts of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, until 2015. In this period COLT offered temporary and long-term residential care for children who for various reasons could not live with their families. In 2008 COLT started a community school, which offered daily lessons in IT and English to 200 local children and students.
In 2015, COLT moved to the Dangkor District on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. It is situated near the city’s dump site and a number of poor hamlets. A dream was realised in the form of a community centre that meets the needs of the local population, both children and families that work on the dump site. From the very beginning, COLT has helped children in need, and we will continue this work, now with more attention and help for the families to which the children belong.