In Cambodia: At-Risk Girls on the Right Path

Publication Date: 
June 11, 2012

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia and the world, with 40% of its children chronically malnourished. Girls are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, child prostitution and substance abuse. Upwards of 20,000 children work the streets of Phnom Penh. 

Cambodia’s impoverished state is due, in part, to a brutal history. During a period of excessive violence in the late 1970s and 1980s, millions of innocent people died from causes that ranged from execution to starvation. The country was then further decimated by a civil war that wreaked havoc until the early 1990s. 

The devastating fallout has resulted in an estimated 640,000 orphans, countless street children, and numerous families living on less than $1 per day.

The Don Bosco Vocational and Educational Training Center for Girls is a bright spot amidst all this tragedy. While the center focuses on vocational training for girls, it also teaches vital life skills such as leadership and self-worth.

Empowered by an education, job training and loving support from the Salesian Sisters, at-risk girls are better able to provide for themselves and their families.

On a recent visit to Phnom Penh, Adam Rudin, director of the Salesian Lay Missioners program, witnessed the stark contrast between the lives of girls at the center and the girls who remained on the street—where many still fall victim to prostitution and abuse. He was able to see first-hand just how great a difference the Salesian center made for girls in Cambodia.

“Those who know and love St. John Bosco and support the good works of the Salesians are aware of the amazing progress being made around the globe with all races, religions, and social classes,” says Rudin. “Their donations really make a difference and I am blessed that I got to see it with my own eyes and share the experience.”

Cambodia stands as one of the poorest nations on earth, with staggering numbers of orphaned and underfed children. This is just one country around the globe with so many poor youth in need. With the help of caring friends like you, a real difference can be made in their lives in Cambodia and in 130 other countries where the Salesians work. Your generous support today will go a long way toward our life-saving work. Thanks for whatever you can give!

Help now with a gift