CHOICE Cambodia is a non-religious, non-profit organization, formed in 2006 registered in 2008 to improve the well being of extremely poor Cambodian families. Our aim is and always has been, to keep children together with their families.
Who we help:
Many Khmer claim to be poor, we only select the genuine poor. To do this we screen individuals or families before support is given, with many years of experience and having Khmer’s on our Committee we know what to look for. Most of our beneficiaries are families that own no land or proper housing, most have poverty cards and are squatters on Government land. We estimate we support over 1000 people and of these about 500 are children.
CHOICE target 3 areas:
We operate a rural school for over 200 children mainly teaching English, Maths, Computer and Craft work. We supply them with uniforms, backpacks, books etc, transport. Our 35+ kindergarten children are aged from 3yo, our primary and secondary students to about 18yo. Our more advanced students that want Apprenticeships or University degrees are financed and accommodated in Phnom Penh through our “Project 365”. Children attending our school receive a free lunch with fruit as most are at school in the morning and afternoon they cannot go home for lunch. Primary students attend Government school for half the day and are with CHOICE for the other half day.
Villagers come to us for help with sick babies children and adults. We help by providing transport to the right Hospital or Clinic and paying for their medicine and food if they are Hospitalized. We choose Hospitals that provide free treatment/operations for our children and most of our adults, occasionally we have to pay for the treatment/operation. We have helped with cases of leprosy, amputations, hepatitis, tuberculosis, many heart conditions and one with a hole in the heart, burns, appendicitis, tumors, pregnancies and births, physios, dental, many optical procedures and much more. We have also supplied Villagers with a few wheelchairs, artificial limbs and crutches and we make a financial contribution for the funeral of any deceased villager.
3. Family Assistance:
Our main support is delivering “Safe Drinking Water” on a regular basis to all our Villagers as the few tube wells are contaminated with Arsenic, drinking this eventually leads to death. Clothing, footwear, mosquito nets, eye glasses and more, are frequently distributed to all the families. We provide for disaster relief as was the case in 2011 when we distributed charcoal, rice and tarpaulins due to flooding. We provide extra care such as rice to the families and individuals that really struggle, sometimes its the elderly or families due to the loss of a parent. In some cases we supply formula milk and when asked, assist with contraception for women. We train and employ Villagers at times, 2 ex students are teachers, 2 are drivers and one is a cleaner.
What does all this cost:
We receive and spend around US$65,000 each year plus donations of many other items such as PC’s, playground equipment, desks, clothing, mosquito nets etc and even a new kitchen. Having almost no administration costs we provide an amazing amount of support for each dollar raised. Nearly all donation money goes directly to the projects, all western support is given freely. Transparency and honesty is paramount so donations are shown on our website.
Our Future needs:
As our students advance towards year 12 the numbers requiring Apprenticeships and Scholarships is growing rapidly. Currently Apprenticeships or Scholarships cost about US$2,000 per student per year depending on the course selection. This is for fees, food, accommodation and providing a house supervisor. If possible we ask them to contribute whatever they can, but most are too poor. These numbers will increase, at 30 students per year, it would use nearly all of our current annual income, and numbers will go higher than that. Do we tell our students “sorry we can’t help you any more, go back to the village, marry, find another plot of land to squat on, and continue the cycle of poverty. ”
To avoid this we need more money and your help to attract corporate financial support, a well known patron, net-workers & marketers to promote CHOICE, people with contacts. We cannot ask for more money from our current network of much appreciated friends and donors.
Please forward or add this article in your newsletter or emails. If you need more information, or think you can help then please contact the CHOICE Honorary Secretary, Ross Wright, thank you.