Today we operate an orphanage providing shelter, food (three nutritious meals per day), healthcare, a high quality education and, above all, a loving home for the beautiful children. At ACODO our children learn to become tomorrow’s adults. They learn to be independent, skilful and able to contribute towards society. They live together as a family and learn to support one another. We operate from a purpose built single site, on rented land, about 1km from the centre of Siem Reap.
The age of our children varies from 5 to 19. Our children get Khmer formal education at Sovannaphumi School, a local Khmer private school, for four hours a day five days a week. These lessons are supplemented by English language classes every week day which are taught in three dedicated classrooms at our orphanage by local teachers and international volunteers.
As we believe in preserving the Khmer culture our children attend daily traditional Khmer music and dance classes at our orphanage. This helps to instill self confidence, a sense of pride and a great deal of enjoyment – they simply love to dance.
Thanks to the kind support from the Kantha Bopha Hospital and Angkor Hospital for Children, local children’s hospitals in Siem Reap, we have the opportunity to provide medical care to all our little children.
When we have some support, we try to arrange local day trips at the weekend or on holiday such as swimming, fishing, visiting a resort/museum and other activities such as bringing the children to have dinner in the restaurant. Previous visitors and volunteers have sponsored and enjoyed outings further afield.
Volunteer teachers from around the world are recruited to teach the English language classes at our orphanage. We employ a full time English language teacher to co-ordinate the volunteer teachers and three part time dance and music teachers. Other staff include live-in nannies, cooks and security guards who work to provide a clean and safe home for our children. All our paid staff are local Cambodian people.
In September 2010 we started our own ACODO farm. We lease farmland on which we will grow our own rice, raise fish and breed our own animals to provide food for our children and local communities and to finance the orphanage. This is a significant step towards self sufficiency.
Through our Indigent Family Support program we offer support to the extended families and villages of some our children. This program supports the children to remain with their own family and provides emotional support, practical help (such as food) and financial assistance wherever possible. Family care and community care are the best option for alternative care for children. We also work hard to enhance awareness of human rights and health care issues such as drug abuse and HIV/AIDS.