Development, Trade and Foreign Affairs

Cambodian Children’s Fund: A Shining Light from Garbage Dump


(Photo: Scott Neeson and Garbage Kids)

Children mean our hopes and our futures, but unfortunately every child would not have the same fate as only few are living in place as paradise while the rest of them are in poverty and misery. It is extremely hard to fight against poverty, yet it does not mean it is impossible if we have ever started. There is an extent achievement has accomplished by the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) as it is truly responsible for children living in garbage dump. It was founded after Scott Neeson, as head of the 20th Century Fox International, who traveled to Cambodia in 2003 and found his life changed by the desperate circumstances and unlikely courage of Phnom Penh’s most impoverished children.[1] This charity organisation is not merely well-recognised, it is also an outstanding entity consisting of the reality, having the accountability, and sharing the earnestness which shapes the window of opportunities for Cambodian children and touching people’s heart.

Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) has effectively and continuously rendered their services to make a significant difference by truly cultivating the fruitful outcomes of the new hopes and dreams for all kids in garbage dump. Nowadays, CCF cares for more than 1,800 students and 10,000 people annually after extending their services to provide not just for kids, yet entire families and communities in crisis as a whole. [2] Among all various of the programs provided by CCF, it is imperative to acknowledge the life-changing education, having an outgrowth of its important role in promoting the well-being of children and also preventing from child abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. Therefore, CCF has played an increasing role on nurturing kids’ knowledge for their future and helping them to avoid the misleading track at the same time. Currently, it is struggling to become the best educational institution ever for these kids as Kevin Tutt, former principal of Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, said that “We’ll offer the world class-standard of education, the best we can do for these kids.”[3] Given the facts that in Cambodia, the weaknesses in the education system encourage the supply of child labour and incidence of street children.[4] In this connection, the CCF has evidently filled out the missing slots of education system and become an active local development partner with the government on the children protection and promotion. Within this contribution, it has therefore shared a great impact on the poverty reduction for each child’s family supported by CCF as it is a key to unlock the window for the bright future.

Nevertheless, accountability and transparency are also the major catalyst earning the organisation’s fund and credibility to attain its nurturing Cambodian children effectively. Terje, one of the donors expressed his comment on GuideStar that “As a former investigative journalist, I’m naturally pretty skeptical and careful in my research. Still, it didn’t take me long to determine that CCF was highly reputable and effective organisation.” [5] This is a crucial and integral part for non-profit organisation to gain more supports for launching its programs and its operations in the sustainable manner. More importantly, there is not solely the donors of individuals that have recognised CCF, but the GuideStar and the Charity Navigator as well. These two acknowledgements demonstrates the commitments of the CCF for transparency and accountability in annual revenue and expense reports. In truth, CCF has received five stars for average rating on the assessment of 46 personal reviews in the GuideStar.[6] While at the same time, CCF also got four stars as the scores for its transparency and accountability performance within the Charity Navigator.[7] It is therefore absolutely essential for building trusts among the donors, and based on these accountability and trust, all the donations would accurately and positively make a change  under the projects of CCF for helping the vulnerable children and communities in crisis.

It was also impressive on how CCF was found. “Within months Neeson had quit Hollywood. He sold his mansion and held a garage sale for all the useless stuff he owned, his yacht included. His sole focus would now be his newly launched charity.”[8] These great contributions are not merely helping the children of Cambodians, but the earnestness of Neeson and CCF would also encourage people to accumulate the spirit of humanity across the corners of the globe. In nature, one’s happiness would be also other’s happiness. In this connection, the achievements of CCF would increase the incentive of the other people to take a similar action. The respective contribution of individuals would take part in sharing prosperity and making new hopes for the vulnerable people, and this is exactly proven by Neeson and CCF. Yos Sam Onn, who survived from killing fields, said his life was ruined after his mother died, his father and his brother were killed and even his brother’s children. However, he never thinks about those terrible things any more as he found his life changed because of Mr. Scott, saying that it likes a sun is shining on him again.[9]

All in all, countering poverty, helping children, making new hopes, and sharing warm smiles are the priceless contribution that Cambodian Children’s Fund has achieved to release the lives of garbage dump kids and their families. In order to make greater impact, the participation from everyone is indispensable for helping those vulnerable people from poverty. It would expedite to subside the misery as another new hope will be made for kids if one person is starting new action for helps. In this sense, taking the spirit of President Kennedy’s words in 1961 inaugural address, “Ask not what those children can do for you – ask what you can do for those vulnerable kids.”[10]

Seoul, May 04, 2014

Khov Ea Hai.

Instructed by Prof. Hugh Schuckman


[1]  “About Us,” Cambodian Children’s Fund, accessed April 9, 2014,

[2] Ibid.,

[3] Tibur Kraus, “True Grit: From Hollywood to the Horrors of a Phnom Penh Rubbish Dump,” Post Magazine, April 6, 2014, Page 24, accessed April 10, 2014,

[4] “Children in Cambodia,”Child Wise, accessed April 9, 2014,

[5] “Cambodian Children’s Fund,” GuideStar, accessed April 9, 2014,–user_id-257269.

[6] “GuideStar Quick View, Cambodian Children’s Fund,”GuideStar, accessed April 9, 2014,

[7] “Charity Rating, Cambodian Children Fund,” Charity Navigator, accessed April 9, 2014,

[8] Tibur Kraus, “True Grit: From Hollywood to the Horrors of a Phnom Penh Rubbish Dump,”Post Magazine, April 6, 2014, Page 22, accessed April 10, 2014,

[9] Ibid.,

[10] John F. Kennedy, “Inaugural Address,” In Moral Leader and Global Movement, edited by Hugh Schuckman, 35-38, Seoul, Korea: KDI Press, 2014.

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2016 by in History and tagged .






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