New Hope Cambodia

New Hope Cambodia are an NGO (Non-Government Organisation) based in Siem Reap whose mission is not just to provide free education for all, in order to break the cycle of poverty in Cambodia, but also to help provide the necessary healthcare and living assistance that make getting an education possible.

In Modul 3 – one of the poorest slum areas in Siem Reap; home to displaced men, women and children, sex workers and army families- New Hope aim to “restore hope, dignity and promise” to more than 300 families living in desperate conditions. They have built a school, health clinic and social support offices, as well as building new houses for families who need them.

Street in Modul 3. Photo courtesy of newhopecambodia.com

Up to 140 patients a week can get free treatment at the clinic, which even pays for surgery at nearby hospitals for local patients who need it. Other provisions include bicycles for children and parents to get to school and work, bags of rice and other food, housing repairs and the installation of water pumps, emergency accommodation and crisis counselling for abused women- the list goes on.

The New Hope base currently offers permanent employment to more than 60 Cambodians, and if you’re passing through Siem Reap you can even eat at one of their training restaurants- either at the school site, or at Bakong Ancient City Restaurant near the Bakong temple ruins. Profit made at the restaurants is funnelled straight into education and services for local people who are desperately in need.

Photo courtesy of newhopecambodia.com

There are a range of ways you can help to support New Hope, from sponsoring a child’s education or a university student’s scholarship to offering your services as a volunteer. Volunteers can help by assisting with the teaching of English at the school, by working at the health centre (doctors, nurses and health professionals who can give seminars) or by working with the community outreach program alongside local social workers.

I’m not sticking around for long enough to make a meaningful, constructive contribution to a child’s education, but what I CAN usefully do with a few spare days is help to build a house. And so for half of this week, following on from being shown around the New Hope school and clinic as well as Modul 3 itself, I have been working with a team of other sweaty, dusty people to put together new living accommodation for two families living well below the poverty line. For more information on the organisation and how you can help, go to www.newhopecambodia.com

Not bad for a day and a half’s work by a bunch of people who’d never used a machete before.

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