Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

ChildFund works in some quite remote villages, as ChildFund ambassador and actress Danielle Cormack discovered on her second day in Cambodia’s rural Kratie province.

Reaching the first village meant a 1.5hr drive from the nearest town before crossing a wobbly suspension bridge by foot and hopping on the back of a motorbike for the final stretch.

But she made it! And as you can see from her latest video diary, Danielle met with families, youth groups, teachers and village chiefs to learn more about the challenges faced by children in this area.

The Wentworth star reports that two most pressing concerns kept coming up: clean water and education.

“There aren`t a lot of resources for kids to learn in these schools, so with the help of ChildFund, these amazing reading kits have been made available. They come in Khmer and English,” says Danielle. “These two beautiful girls (pictured above) have been showing me how much fun they are €“ with pictures and games to really engage the kids, so they become invested and really excited about their education. We`ve been hearing from the teachers here what a valuable asset these have become for the kids` learning.”

 

This week we’re taking you on a journey to Cambodia with actress and ChildFund ambassador Danielle Cormack. The Wentworth star has been a child sponsor with ChildFund for more than a decade and is a strong advocate for vulnerable children.

Danielle began her visit at the ChildFund Cambodia head office in Phnom Penh, where she spent the morning learning about the issues facing children in Cambodia`s rural villages and getting a broad overview of how ChildFund is helping. In the afternoon, it was time to hit the road to Kratie.

A five-hour car journey from the capital Phnom Penh, Kratie is one of the poorest and more remote regions in Cambodia. ChildFund has been working here since 2011, supporting around 20,000 vulnerable children and their families.

“Cambodia is still recovering from three decades of war, where 1.7 million people were killed or died under the forced hardship of the Khmer Rouge regime,” says Danielle. “So child poverty is a big problem here €“ malnutrition, lack of education, water, sanitation. We’ll be going to some of the ChildFund communities to visit the kids and see what programs ChildFund is implementing to deal with these problems.”

Danielle had a jam-packed first day visiting programs in different communities and says she was struck by the many ways in which ChildFund is helping children and families overcome poverty in these villages. From supporting children’s health through a nutrition group for mums, to improving the quality of education for children at rural schools, to helping young people secure a financial future through a youth savings group, these are just some of the ChildFund-supported programs being implemented in Kratie, thanks to the contributions of child sponsors in Australia and around the world.

“It`s been incredibly insightful to be on the ground and see firsthand the work ChildFund is doing in the communities here, with the local councils and local government bodies,” says Danielle.