Our NGO Kinderhilfe Kambodscha helps street children and children from situations of socio-economic crisis in Cambodia to get the opportunities they deserve.
Kinderhilfe Kambodscha e.V. aims at giving children from backgrounds of social distress the chance at a self-determined adult life with the help of schooling, the creation of a stable environment for them and the sharing of practical skills.
The beginning of our NGO
In the late 1990s, architect Michael Weiss and his wife Veronika Weiss from Aachen traveled to Cambodia, a country whose culture and history they were very interested in. Touched by the difficult living conditions and the fate of the many orphans and street children in Phnom Penh’s largest slum, they initially got involved by providing meals to the children at food stalls. In this way, in time they bonded and developed relationships with many children who were completely left to themselves.
At that time, they set themselves the goal of offering these children in need in Cambodia’s largest city not only immediate crisis relief, but long-term protection from harm and the possibility of regular schooling.
Foundation of our NGO
To ensure a sustainable support for these children, the non-profit organization Kinderhilfe Kambodscha e.V. Aachen was founded in August 2004 and entered the register of organizations at the district court of Aachen in September 2004. This organization in Germany oversees the sister organization KKEV-Cambodia, officially recognized as an international NGO in Cambodia since 2006, to look after and care for orphans and children from social hardships in the children’s village AND to support street children with the street children’s program. Funding is provided through sponsorships for children in the children’s village or the street children’s program and donations.
The children's village, designed and founded by Michael Weiss, was inaugurated in December of 2004 and since offers protection, security, and a home for up to 100 orphans and children without caring families.
Empowering local communities
We believe in empowering our staff and the community around our NGO in Cambodia to create lasting change. Our trusted local management team of KKEV-Cambodia ensures that the children are cared for and brought up. The team is responsible for the administration relating to the children's village and the street children program, the overall organisation, budgeting and liaising with local ministries, institutions and the local community. The board of KKe.V. in Aachen coordinates the budget with the local team, ensures financing through donations, and provides the local team with advice.
Cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs
The KKEV in Cambodia works closely with the Ministry of Social Affairs in Cambodia. Children in emergency situations are referred to Kinderhilfe Kambodscha's village by the Ministry of Social Affairs, by other social institutions in the country, or via an emergency call center.
Our work -
KKEV Children's Village
In our children's village, we care for up to 100 children of up to 18 years of age (or longer in exceptional cases of longer secondary/tertiary education needs). The children are cared for by local "house mothers" and other caretakers ind eight family houses. They live together in family structures and experience community and social security for example during the shared meals. A dedicated team of experienced social workers and caretakers provide guidance on-site, we however also provide the psychological support needed for children to overcome any trauma.
The youngest ones are cared for in the Kindergarten on site. As of the age of six years, the children attend local state schools, which fosters contact and relationships into the local community and allows integration to take place.
Our work -
In addition to the 100 children who live permanently in our village, our NGO supports a street children program for up to 120 children from socially disadvantaged families living in the slums of Phnom Penh. These children receive a daily warm meal, as well as additional lessons in English and Mathematics and they are supported in a way so that they can finish their first six years of public schooling.
The children and adolescents who live in the children's village of Kinderhilfe Kambodscha come from various backgrounds: some are orphans, and others lived on the streets without caring parents. Some children have parents who have HIV and are no longer able to care for the children. In other cases, children have been exposed to violence, abuse, or child labor in their homes.
The work of KKEV is governed by the 2011 Standards and Guidelines for the Care, Support, and Protection of Orphans and Vulnerable Children for the Kingdom of Cambodia. The cost per child in the children’s village is currently about EURO 1.600 per year; a place in the street children’s program costs currently about EURO 390 per year.
What they all have in common is that they have lived in socially deprived situations and poverty.
Before they arrived at our door, most of the children could not attend school regularly. Many children from Pnom Penh's slums have scavenged for recyclables to sell in the rubbish dumps or they used to beg for food and money. Taking into account the consequences of malnutrition and traumatic experiences when caring for these children plays a major role in the work of our local team.
Costs per child
The work of our sister organisation KKEV-Cambodia is governed by the 2011 Standards and Guidelines for the Care, Support, and Protection of Orphans and Vulnerable Children for the Kingdom of Cambodia. Our costs to care for one child in our children's village amounts currently to 1.600 Euro per year.
A place in our Street Children Programm costs us 390 Euro per
Protection from harm
Our top priority is to protect the children from harm and ensuring that the needs of the 100 children who live permanently with us in the children's village are met, as well as offering care, nutrition and educational support to the children that come to us in the Street Children Program.
None of these children should ever have to go to bed hungry again.
Our children experience integration into the local community as they attend state schools. Under the concept "helping people to help themselves" we strive to equip our children with the education and skills that offer them to be prepared for an independent and happy life.
Help us so that children in Cambodia can break out of a cycle of poverty, exploitation and violence.
Ownership and responsibility
Our work requires a lot of patience and understanding the living conditions in Cambodia.
Poverty, a lack of schooling and exploitation of the youngest members of society are still topics that need to be improved and we believe that developmental aid should aim at fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Street Children Program
Our work does not stop at the gates of our children's village. In addition to the 100 children, mostly orphaned, who live with us full time, we run a street children program near the slums. We provide a daily meal and afternoon care program for 120 children, who live with their families in very difficult economic situations in the slums of Phnom Penh. We are helping these children to attend school regularly and offer additional classes for them, so that they have a better chance at future employment.
Kinderhilfe Kambodscha e.V. Aachen
Bismarck Street 69
+49 (0) 241/41344467
Children's village in Phnom Penh
To protect the children living in the KKEV-Cambodia village, we do not publish our exact address.
Please get in touch with here, if you wish to get in touch with us.
The KKEV-Cambodia team works with a small local hospital, where the children are examined after they arrive at our village and the children's vaccination status is completed.
We are also cared for by the Kuntha Bopha Hospital, which is run by the aid organization founded by the Swiss pediatrician Dr. Beat Richter.
It can be a challenge to ensure the psychological care that some of our children need.