We were sponsoring Rosa Man who was from Cambodia but have received news that the project for his community has been completed successfully and sponsorship is no longer required. Here is the letter we received from Rosa. Keep watching for information about our new World Vision child Bo Bo Han from Myanmar.
The sponsorship programme in my community will be ended this year. Thank you very much for sponsoring my family and community for years. I know that our living situation will be much better in the future. Currently, I go to school on the good road and drink the water without getting sick. My family is very happy. The people in my community have learned some skills, such as animal raising and vegetables growing for earning extra income to support family. You have helped me and transformed many things in my community. Through your help, we live in much happiness in the future. I would be pleased if you sponsored another child be happy too.
Love from me, Rosa
|Why Rosa needs our help: Children in Rosa's community face many challenges. The region has been deeply affected by years of civil conflict and farmers don't have the resources to grow enough to feed their families. A large amount of farmland is also littered with landmine. As a result, many children are malnourished. Unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation lead to the spread of preventable illnesses like dysentery, dengue fever ad cholera., with only limited access to health care. Many children miss out on education because schools have been abandoned as unsafe.|
CambodiaCambodia is a South-east Asian country, slightly smaller than Victoria. Central plains account for two thirds of the land area. These are surrounded by densely forested mountains, with the Gulf of Thailand to the south. Cambodia's major water sources are the Mekong River and Tonie Sap (Great lake).
The tropical climate combines a dry season (November to May) and monsoons bringing heavy rains (May to November). Rainfall variations result in periodic droughts or floods. The majority of Cambodia's 12.8 million people (2002) live in rural areas. Most Cambodians are of Khmer origin; others include several ethnic groups in the mountains.
The capital is Phnom Penh and the national language is Khmer. Over 95 per cent of Cambodians are Buddhists. Under the Khmer Rouge, all religious practice was banned. In 1979, Buddhism was reinstated as the official religion. There are small numbers of Christians and Muslims.
Cambodia traces its Khmer origins to the Angkor civilisation, which was most powerful between the ninth and the thirteenth century. Its territory was gradually reduced to the present area by the growing power of the Thai kingdom and Vietnam. Cambodia's history has been marked by extended periods of war and occupation. In 1863, to avoid Thai domination, Cambodia became a French protectorate, although the monarchy continued. After gaining independence from France in 1953, King Sihanouk sought to keep the country neutral in the face of regional political tensions.
From 1969, however, the country suffered attacks as a consequence of the war in Vietnam, and began to be torn apart by civil war. By 1975, thousands of Cambodians had been killed and many had fled to the cities for refuge. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh and established 'Democratic Kampuchea'. The entire country was reorganised to create a radical, agrarian society closed to the outside world. People were ordered out of cities and put to work growing rice and digging canals.
Schools and newspapers closed, transport and services were largely destroyed and money abolished. Those suspected of opposing official political views were tortured or killed.
At least one million people died through hunger, illness, overwork and execution. In 1979, Vietnamese troops swept into Phnom Penh establishing a new government led by men who had fled during the rule of the Khmer Rouge. However the country continued to be racked by fighting between the Vietnamese- backed government, the Khmer Rouge and other resistance forces.
In 1991, a United Nations-sponsored peace treaty was signed and a peacekeeping force set up to oversee the ceasefire and free elections. A coalition government including royalists and former communists came to power, but clashes with the Khmer Rouge continued.
Conflict within the coalition led in 1997 to Prime Minister Hun Sen's ousting of his co-Prime Minister Prince Ranariddh. Hun Sen's party narrowly won 1998 elections, but the political future remained uncertain.Economy
Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, employs nearly 75 per cent of
the population. Rice and rubber are the main export crops. About 85 per cent of cultivable land is devoted to
rice and since most villages are close to a water source, fishing is an
important activity. Income is supplemented by raising livestock and growing
fruit and supplemented by raising livestock
and growing fruit and vegetables. Production has been hampered by a number
of factors including: lack of irrigation, fertilisers and pest control;
insecurity caused by landmining of farmland; and flooding.
International aid has played a vital role in
the country's reconstruction. In 1995, foreign government aid accounted for
nearly half the Cambodian government's operating budget. The funds are used
to rebuild infrastructure and promote economic growth through agriculture
and tourism. At the same time, government spending on defence (28 per cent)
is a heavy drain on limited resources.
Home for many Cambodians is a small dwelling on stilts made of wood or .bamboo, which often houses multi-generational families. The staple diet is rice and fish, which is often the only source of protein. Most people live in villages of 100 to 400 families.
Main source: CIA World Factbook 2001
The events of the 1970s have had a dramatic impact on family life. More than one-fifth of households are now headed by women, these families are more likely to suffer economic hardship and, as a consequence, malnutrition and premature death. Malnutrition also contributes to high infant and child death rates.While progress has been made to address health issues, the lack of safe drinking water and very low levels of sanitation means Cambodians face serious problems such as tuberculosis, malaria, dengue fever and increasingly AIDS. The government is seeking to improve this situation by establishing a basic health care system.
Landmines continue to pose a major problem in Cambodia, maiming or killing hundreds of people each month.
Educational recovery has been a high priority, with six years of primary education being compulsory. While challenge of providing a better future for its people. approximately 90 per cent of children are enrolled in school, levels of attendance vary regionally and drop out rates are high. A strong emphasis is being placed on improving the number of teachers and the quality of educational materials. Literacy campaigns during the 1980s enabled many adults to learn to read and write; and due to the emphasis on education in refugee camps, many returned refugees from the Thai border are literate.
World Vision in Cambodia
|Information provided by World Vision. Note : World Vision resources may be photocopied for educational use, provided the source is credited. May 1993 Updated July 1997.||World Vision of Australia is a Christian organisation • ABN 28 004 778 081 I Vision Drive Burwood East VIC 3151 • Phone: 1300 303 440 • Fax (03) 9287 2427 • www.worldvision.org.au|
|To sponsor a child, click here to go to the World Vision page.|