"The need to protect the rights of the world’s poorest and most marginalised children is vast. Millions of children throughout the world have lost one of both parents to AIDS, suffer from ill-health and malnutrition, experience neglect or abuse at home, or have to work to support the family income. Others are pushed to the margins of society due to the stigma and discrimination associated with having a disability. Many of these children find themselves living in squalid slums or on the streets where they are vulnerable to harassment, abuse, exploitation and premature death" - International Childcare Trust.
Family and friends,
Having spent the past 12 months living and working within an impoverished Cambodian community on the island of Koh Rong, I can wholeheartedly relay the ICT statement above. Children here, whilst not suffering from AIDS, do suffer severly from malnutrition, non-existant healthcare and quite extensively, child labour. There's a little girl in my Cambodian village, Prek Svay, who has undiagnosed Down's Syndrome - undiagnosed, because in these regions of Cambodia it is not a recognised illness. She does not receive any assistance at home or at school, so has taken the time recently to spend her days climbing over my lap to 'help' with my personal work. She is a lovely girl who just has no recognised place in this society.
I struck gold when I heard about the Vietnam to Cambodia cycle event - it's giving me the opportunity to raise money for children and families that I know on a personal level. I know them to be kind and fair people, generous people with the little that they have, but people who need as much support for their children as can be provided.
If you can spare any support - little or large - it would be HUGELY appreciated. Know that you are changing the lives of children in communities across Asia, like the one in which I live, who otherwise would have no assistance.
Thank you sincerely,