I had the chance to get to know Via del Campo children’s house of Phoum Thmey in Cambodia thanks to my friend’s nephew Henry, who last summer signed up for a month and half voluntary experience at the center. Phoum Thmey is a slum community located near the international port in Sihanoukville province. The center helps children abused sexually for child prostitution, pornography and trafficking for sexual purposes. Via del Campo provides them with two meals per day, non-formal education (and English language), medical care as well as sponsoring for them tuitions of traditional Khmer dancing (Apsara).
RFC started its activities in Cambodia in 2004, after having a MOU with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Coorperation. In 2008 RFC was registered at the Ministry of Interior as a local organization based in Phnom Penh. RFC cooperates with CIFA Onlus and Ecpat Onlus in Italy.
Via del Campo is a branch of Respect for Children (RFC). Via Del Campo Children’s house started activities in March 2010, with over 100 kids selected for them by RFC. Via Del Campo project aims to fight the reasons why children give up education and start leading street life, in precarious health and hygienic conditions, economic difficulties, lack of adequate educational support programs and family problems. They work at improving the vulnerable kids’ living conditions by encouraging them to develop their own identity, and by ensuring the growth of children with a good life.
All their programs are implemented in collaboration with local and international partners, with a board of directors that defines the association policies and actions on the basis of evaluations of needs and priorities conducted by the heads of missions.
They have set up a Sponsorship Program for supporting children’s basic needs such as distribution of food, material and pocket money, medical care and hygiene support, school support, construction of settlements and school constructions. All sponsors have a special connection with the child they are sponsoring, seeing the concrete results of their sponsorship over years as they see their sponsored children growing up. Three times a year, the kids have to write a letter and send it together with a photo to their godparents.
Medical care is also an important aspect of the center, with doctors and nurses visiting the kids regularly for check ups, and dentists and their assistants curing the kids with teeth problems.
Last but not least, vocational training is an important part of the program; the center arranges two daily classes for children to study at the center. RFC tries to motivates the children to study until they finish their general education, or alternatively enroll them on vocational training classes, where they can learn the skills that will enable them to support themselves in the future.
To learn more about Via del Campo children’s house of Phoum Thmey: