Focus 2004

Cambodia - THA15-03-2004

Project: Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia
Date of foundation: 1992
Place: Phnom-Penh
Province: St. Paul - Thailand  (THA)

Cambodia is a country of about 13 million people. Years of isolation and war have made it one of the poorest in the world. The people were devastated and the basic infrastructure and social services was destroyed. But the situation improved after the elections of 1993. Still the three major problems remain: The incapacity of those who manage government administration since the more capable politicians and the intelligentsia were massacred during the war. In the northern forests of Khmer the Reds still control 10 percent of the territory and procure arms in exchange for wood and precious stones. The land-mines that lie hidden in the countryside render many people invalid and make the fields non-cultivable even to this day.
The Salesians came to Cambodia on 24 May 1992.  The “Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia” was soon established with the aim of sustaining the basic amenities and educational needs of the war-torn youth.

Technical Schools at Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville teach hundreds of youth to become self-independent with a fairly decent profession. Today more than 800 poor young men and women, many of them orphaned due to the war, receive skill-training through which quiet a few of them and their families are able to escape the circle of poverty.

Don Bosco Children Fund helps thousands of poor children who have been brought into schools and who have no possibility of paying any fees. They are given food and necessities required for their schooling. At Battambang there are two centers of basic-education. One of the ways this education is possible is through the running of the adoption-at-a-distance project where as little as 8 dollars serves to support a child for a whole month.

Poipet is the latest project taken up by the Salesians. The place was once a lonely town on the border near Thailand. But overnight it was transformed into a slum of nearly 80,000 inhabitants without any basic infrastructure. Nearly all are refugees and those who suffer most are the children. Here a center for street children of age 15 has been started.  About 40 of them who have been misused and utterly alone (without even grandparents) are being rehabilitated. A feeding programme for all school children in Poipet in order to combat undernourishment and to entice them to school is underway. At present there are 74 children in the scheme and the number should reach 150 or even more. Sixty of these are boarders.

The Benefactors: The work of nourishing, educating young people is all possible due to the generosity of benefactors all over the world, specially from countries such as Holland, Italy and the USA.

The Path to Peace Foundation Award had been extended to Salesians Fr. John Visser and Bro. Roberto Panetto in the year 1995. It is offered to all those who are at the service of Peace. They were publicly honoured by the archbishop and pontifical nuncio to the United Nations and president of the "Path to Peace Foundation". He handed them the award in the presence of 700 distinguished guests.


Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia
P.O. Box 47
House n° 67 Road 315
Boung Kak 2 - Khan Toul Kork
Phnom Pehn - Cambodia

Web site: