CIS Organization is in Siem Reap, the capital of the province of Siem Reap, just minutes from the magnificent temples of Angkor Watt. Tourism has made the city an international focus, developing a diverse range of businesses.
The Kingdom of Cambodia is among the poorest countries in Asia, hard years of war, conflict and widespread violence between 1970 and 1989 destroyed the infrastructure of the Cambodian society and the progress of a nation that was known as the France of Southeast Asia. In Cambodia children work in rice fields, picking up rubbish, selling post cards, with little reward. The gap between a minority that monopolizes the country's wealth and a dispossessed majority, is growing, especially in rural areas. Lacks of resources for education and health, make children, young people and women especially vulnerable. They are subjected to situations of injustice, hunger, homelessness, child abuse, prostitution, disease and sexually transmitted diseases. In the cities there are communities with no electricity or running water and a serious lack of hygiene. Cambodia lost a generation of trained adults, destroyed by a the regime of terror. The young children are the hope for the future.
The local population has been affected by this development, but at very different levels. Some have been able to adapt to it, working in businesses designed for tourists but the vast majority have not been able and they come from very poor villages where the only income is from growing rice in the rainy season. Naturally, the people come to Siem Reap looking for a better life, but most just find homelessness, alcohol and gambling. Visitors to Siem Reap are shocked to see mothers breastfeed children as they beg on the streets, to see children of all ages as street vendors and rubbish collectors and then, there is the pervasive danger of child sexual abuse.
We provide opportunities that prepare students for life beyond the classroom. It is crucial to equip our students with important life skills so that they can improve their economic situations and become active, productive members of their community.