Samrong Children´s Farm is a project which was started in 2002, with the help of the World Wide Children´s Farms, WWCF, as the main sponsor and the Cambodian Children Support Foundation, CCSF.
The farm is under the daily management of Dr. Sam Sok Vyrak, a dedicated qualified Cambodian Paediatrician who is also in charge of the wellbeing of the children. Several qualified members of staff help with the daily running of the farm, kitchen and administration.
The farm is 2.5 hectares and is about 7 kilometres from central Phnom Penh. It comprises of an accommodation block, library, computer room, dining area, several outhouses, including volunteer accommodation and a sports area. The farm aims to be as self-sufficient as possible, including solar panels to produce some of their energy. Various fruit and vegetables are grown with any excess produce sold at a local market and there is also a small lake stocked with fish for their own consumption.
The aim of the project is to create a healthy, safe and caring living environment for the children. Children brought to Samrong are either underprivileged, orphaned or from disrupted families. Several have had the unfortunate experience of living life on the rubbish tips around Phnom Penh.
There are about 60 children living here at present, aged from 7-18 years old. By attending the local school in the morning or afternoon, the children are given an education and also learn work ethics by occasionally helping on the farm. The animals such as cows, chickens, ducks and geese also need to be cared for and this helps to promote awareness of their environment. As well as being educational and fun, the farm provides the children with an opportunity to learn skills required for their futures. The once neglected and emotional children slowly develop confidence and self respect, respect for others and for nature and with many other children around them, they flourish in a “family” environment, something many have never experienced.
Once the children have completed their primary and secondary education, many get the opportunity to go on to University in Phnom Penh, sponsored by WWCF. These young adults, continue to stay at the farm but once a degree is obtained, they are encouraged to find jobs and build their own lives, for both themselves and their families.
Last year there were 7 graduates and in 2017, there are currently 4 university students. Samrong is proud to be part of their progress.
Part of the main promotion for volunteers at the Farm is teaching English to the children. As a developing country, Cambodia is fast becoming reliant on workers with language skills and this is where we want to give our children a head start in life by providing additional lessons. It is so important, especially to the older students, to be able to have simple “one-on-one” sessions to encourage confidence in speaking and understanding. This is where the value of a volunteer is hugely appreciated. A simple conversation can slowly bring meaning to what they have learnt.