AFESIP Cambodia 

Acting for Women in Distressing Situations 

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As done in previous year, Somaly House, former Kompong Cham Rehabilitation and Basic Vocational Skills Training Center celebrated its 64th 1nternational Children Day. Since early morning, the children in school uniforms, dark blue skirts and white short sleeved shirts with nice shoes seemed to be so happy to welcome this special event. We could see their smile and laughter, hanging around the premise at their will. The decorated multi-colored roofs to shelter the children and honorable guests were built a day before the event. A long table full of children gifts was seen to distribute to all the children, center and school. In the office space, some 10 matured girls were wearing dancing uniforms to be ready for a dance, 5 worn in male and the other 5 in female dancing uniforms. They were ready to perform a dance called “Coconut Dance” trained by Ms. Kheng Sochenda, Somaly House Manager and who was the core person to lead the program.


The event was started at 8:30am. Around 300 children including students from the secondary school, the center, staff and teachers participated. Among those present as panel members were Som Sophatra, Administration Human Resource and Communication Coordinator; Mam Khon, Tomdy Center Manager and Center Technical Supervisor, Ms. Kheng Sochenda, Somaly House Manager and Mr. Un Vunly, Deputy Director of Khchao Secondary School.

To begin with, a dance called “Coconut Dance” was performed by Somaly House’s children to welcome the celebration. In her opening speech, Ms. Sochenda expressed her great thanks for the presence of guests and participants and recalled why, how and when the international children day was held. Most importantly, she encouraged the village children to further cooperate with the Somaly House children, by visiting the library and joining English classes in order to improve their knowledge and develop themselves.

Mam Khon, in his turn expressed his concern about the good preparation of the ceremony by Somaly House’s staff, in particular Sochenda, even though the fund is limited. He expressed his joy being with his grand-daughters again after a few months’ absence. He said that now the children understand more and more about their rights year after year due to the annual campaign of the International Children Day. He said adding that although they have all these rights, however they should learn harder in order to get a bright future and respect their parents and siblings.

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