What an inspiring, humbling, and touching time we had at KKEV – Kinderhilfe Kambodscha – in Phnom Penh.
„For the second time this year, I had the great pleasure of being at KKEV Cambodia and spending time with children as well as employees there. My journey only allowed me to spend three days at our Childrens’ village, but I experienced an intense and wonderful time and would like to share a few „highlights“.
Most importantly: Children and employees are doing well and despite the very difficult backgrounds of the children, they radiate so much joie de vivre and it is heartwarming to see them supporting each other.
• My visit started with a management team meeting (we usually do this every two weeks via Skype, and I really appreciated this personal meeting). We work through a standard agenda that includes a review of the situation of each child and how they are developing on various fronts, academically, socially as well as from a health perspective. From there we usually move on to the status of buildings/infrastructure and other projects.
• Except for five children, all children are doing very well at school and also in terms of „well-being and happiness“. The children with problems have either learning difficulties or emotional deficits; in particular, we talked longer about a 10-year-old boy who had to watch his father killing the mother in his childhood; the father went to prison and died there, which lead to the young boy’s arrival at KKEV Cambodia almost a year ago. It is quite a task to socially stabilise the boy, but our team is working hard to help him.
• It is very gratifying to witness the development regarding the young people who are in their apprenticeships and will soon finish: everyone already has jobs lined up and one girl is particularly celebrated because she has managed to be permanently employed in a 5 star hotel program.
• The Street Children program is also making good progress. I was able to look at the newly rented building. There is still a lot to do, but the building itself is a real improvement - everything on one level, a small garden and the facility enjoys much more daylight. The team managed the renovation almost entirely without outside help and was able to reduce the estimated renovation costs from USD 3,000 to 1,500. The renovation will be completed in October.
Special experiences of my trip:
After the kids’ school week had finished, my time in the children’s village was completely focussed on activities with the children. First, our employees had come up with and organised a competition in various disciplines. In addition, all birthday children from the month of September were celebrated (this always happens at the end of the month), and the children who have improved in school this month were awarded and celebrated. My trip finished with a dance party in honour of the September birthday girls and boys.