My Home is Our Home

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13:37   |   Sep 17, 2014


My Home is Our Home
My Home is Our Home thumb My Home is Our Home thumb My Home is Our Home thumb


  • Our Home is a reception center, a boarding school,
  • so it is not an orphanage at all.
  • It is more of a center taking care of children from poor families,
  • poor villages, vulnerable children with violent parents, amongst other things.
  • The purpose here is to offer a safe environment,
  • but the main goal is prepare them
  • to the hard reality of Cambodia.
  • It is a very poor country, with many problems,
  • whether they are political or economic issues.
  • There are a lot of NGO’s like Our Home here in Cambodia,
  • that intervene with vulnerable children,
  • offering them a shelter, food and school.
  • And here at Our Home we created a vocational training,
  • it is kind of our leitmotiv here, at least for the months to come.
  • At the beginning, I started with fifteen kids.
  • Back then I worked in the streets, they knew me.
  • So in 1998, I decided to create a NGO,
  • and in 1999 it became official.
  • I care for the children, sending them to school,
  • feeding them, giving them a place to live.
  • I really think these children need us.
  • At school they start with a 2 hours Khmer class,
  • and after a fifteen minutes break,
  • they have English or French classes
  • provided by the volunteers.
  • And then again, a two hours Khmer class.
  • Once a week they go on the field
  • play football and rugby.
  • The children come from everywhere, anywhere in Cambodia.
  • Some come from the streets of Phnom Penh,
  • some from villages around the landfill site.
  • These are kids who used to live from the sorting waste with their parents.
  • So, they didn’t go to school a lot,
  • they worked with their parents, they lived in polluted environments,
  • quite dangerous places for them.
  • So, what it the landfill site ?
  • Well it is a mountain of waste,
  • the place where all waste from Phnom Penh is brought,
  • any kind of waste.
  • It is a tough job, which brings a very low salary,
  • so children go help their parents
  • therefore they cannot go to school,
  • and most of them start to work at the age of ten,
  • you know : ten years old is the age of entrance into the landfill site.
  • The main source of income today
  • is the money from the volunteers.
  • They pay a fixed monthly sum
  • for their food and housing, water, electricity…
  • and so, this sum enables us to feed the whole establishment.
  • For instance so far we spend 50$ a day
  • in food for everyone, meaning the children and the staff.
  • We are currently trying to develop a sponsorship program.
  • The goal is to sponsor the kids,
  • and the money we receive from that program
  • goes to the NGO,
  • that is what we call the collective sponsorship.
  • So, the sponsorship is an additional income
  • for the NGO.
  • An income that is important for all the needs we have
  • in the everyday life of the orphanage
  • There are two types of sponsorship,
  • the individual one and the collective one.
  • In the individual one,
  • you choose a child and
  • you watch over during his path.
  • what is truly important is the contact you can have with the child,
  • you commit to give and receive news from him/her,
  • and you help him in his everyday life moments,
  • concerning the studies, decisions to make.
  • And for the kid it is really important to have something,
  • someone behind him/her, something that is his/hers.
  • What you must know is, in the individual sponsorship,
  • that the money you give every month
  • is donated to the community,
  • so to the NGO a in global way,
  • in order to avoid problems of inequality amongst children.
  • Unless you sponsor a student,
  • in which case the monthly sum will go
  • directly in his/her studies fees.
  • The collective sponsorship is, you sponsor the entire NGO,
  • which is not only help to buy and pay the teachers and staff,
  • but also be a part of the project.
  • It is to be a part of the project in its totality
  • We also have a last component,
  • a very interesting one,
  • which is the creation of small firms,
  • such as the laundry.
  • So far that is all we have.
  • We created it because we needed activities for the children.
  • School takes only a few hours per day,
  • we had to keep the kids busy and not let them sleep all day long.
  • So we created the laundry for the children of Our Home,
  • a dozen of young girls now work there.
  • It really galvanized them, and it showed them
  • what it is to handle a business, to see the reality of work.
  • The goal of Our Home is not to create a small France inside the NGO,
  • outside Our Home, it is Cambodia.
  • So, about the income, everything is transferred
  • to the orphanage, in order to finance it.
  • With the income generated by the laundry,
  • we can feed the whole orphanage for a day,
  • which means three meals a day for approximately 90 people.
  • And the rest pays for electricity, rent, the girls’ salary and the employees’
  • – because now we have boys working with us.
  • But the majority of it goes to Our Home.
  • The role of a volunteer I would say is to give
  • his maximum and constantly push back his limits.
  • They need us to boost them,
  • to help them find a project for the future.
  • They need to hear that they have the right to have a future of their own.
  • We give them attention, because in the end, it is what they truly need.
  • Nowadays there are a lot of NGOs that are trustworthy.
  • It is true that sometimes, we feel like the money we give
  • will end up in the wrong hands,
  • for other purposes than the promised ones,
  • but there are NGOs, I think it is worth to have a look
  • on them and to think about it
  • because there is the help we can bring financially,
  • and there is the help in brainpower, you know,
  • that helps a lot too.
  • Personally I would like people to sponsor our kids,
  • but also people to come here for a month or two,
  • to help us as volunteers.
  • We need mechanics, electricians, bookkeepers,
  • computer engineers… We need a lot of people,
  • doctors, nurses, and else.
  • Anyone with a talent is welcome to Our Home,
  • as long as you can bring something to the children
  • you cannot say you cannot do more,
  • that all you can do is to take care of yourself and your life,
  • your family, your car, your job…
  • I think that life is more than just the daily grind,
  • and that we can do more, more than what we thought
  • we could do at the beginning.
  • They need you.
  • Please visit our website www.ourhomecambodia.org

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Mini documentaire sur la vie d'une ONG (Our Home, aujourd'hui fermé) au Cambodge.

Merci à Anthony, Jean-Michel et à tous les autres volontaires.
Merci à Nicolas pour la traduction.
Réalisé par Juliette et Benjamin.

MISE A JOUR JUIN 2015 : l'ONG Our Home a été fermé. Les causes sont encore aujourd'hui très flou.

Mais il existe de nombreuse ONG qui ont besoin de volontaires. Aidez les plus défavorisés, ils ont besoin de vous.