Modern-day Cambodia

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Soon enough we will all be dead anyway. And then whom are they going to blame for everything that is wrong or corrupt in this country? – Nimith


Look into the eyes of the Cambodian people…

There you will see the story of a horrific and brutal past, that of the Khmer Rouge and a decade of devastating civil war. But more than two decades on from those darkest days, there is another story. Look again, a little deeper, and you will see a tale of existent loss.
Cambodia is rapidly becoming one of South East Asia’s most popular tourist draws. A beautiful, welcoming, and largely safe country, modern-day Cambodia has come a long way since the Khmer Rouge and devastating civil war. Phnom Penh’s once deserted streets now bustle with people and traffic as it emerges into one of the region’s most energetic and exciting cities. Siem Reap attracts millions of tourists to visit its extraordinary Angkorian temples, widely regarded as wonders of the ancient world.
On the face of it, Cambodia is a happy land, at peace with itself, and being driven at breakneck speed into the future by a young, vibrant population.
Yet scratch the surface and you will find a very different Cambodia, one that is still battered and bruised by its disturbing past. Poverty remains entrenched, in both the countryside and the cities, while vast segments of the population are disenfranchised of their land, livelihoods, education, and opportunity of a better life by an impassive and predatory political and economic elite. Donors, aid agencies, and non-governmental organizations are still here, and they keep coming. Some seem to help, while others only add to the problems. Perhaps most do not understand the problems. And so the poor and disempowered continue to fall through the cracks.
As always, it is the children who suffer most.

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