“One of the most extreme and distressing results of abject poverty is when desperate parents are forced to sell their children. With no state support, if parents are unable to work through illness or disability and there’s no supporting community, the choices available to people facing starvation are very limited and the unthinkable does happen. Although small in percentage terms, it is surprisingly common and children then face severe danger and risks. Families will sell their own daughters for a sum that will see them through the year, often believing that the girls are going to get a job or an education. Virgins command a higher price as many men believe that sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. To ensure a girl’s virginity, girls as young as 5 or 6 years old are bought and then raped.” ConcertCambodia.org
This passage, pulled from the website of ConcertCambodia.org highlights the unfathomable decisions made by impoverished families throughout Cambodia. Organizations like Concert Cambodia are working with volunteer members to combat this atrocity and develop ongoing programs to improve the quality of life in the country.
This little gem pictured above is an orphan we met in Phnom Penh. She was on a once-a-year field trip to a museum. Seeing these children has moved us to explore volunteer opportunities and with the help of dedicated organizations and people who want to see a change, we hope that children like her can grow up safe and healthy.