Phnom Penh

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Cambodia).

Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. It is home to an estimated 2.2 million people. As an economic centre, it is one of the richest cities in the country. However, the wealth is unequally distributed and urban poverty, malnutrition and unemployment are actually increasing. Life in the rural areas of Cambodia continues to be harsh and therefore many people move to cities in search of a better life. However, it is not easy for these families to survive in the city. As the economy has grown, the cost of living in general, and food and housing in particular, has also increased.

Since 2001, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Phnom Penh.

Of households are headed by women

Vulnerable households

Women and children are the worst affected by precarious social and economic conditions in Cambodia. Women head 22% of households in Cambodia. Women often find it hard to find secure employment, because they have been forced to drop out of school at a young age. Female-headed households are at higher risk of impoverishment. These social and economic conditions have a huge impact on family life, and many children are left without parental care. Phnom Penh has the largest share of children living on the streets: they are at risk of becoming addicted to substances and exposed to violence and exploitation.

Cases of online exploitation of children reported annually

Child are lacking protection

Online child sexual exploitation is a global problem and poses a serious threat to children in Cambodia. More than 150 cases of online exploitation and abuse relating to children are reported every year. In these cases, for example, children are forced to create or share explicit images. Even offline, children are at increasing risk of sexual violence in Cambodia, and more boys are falling victim to abuse than in the past. Children who do not have stable family support are most at risk. In order to prevent and respond to online sexual abuse, more work has to be done to ensure the collaboration of communities, organizations, institutions and the government.

Your support makes a difference for children in Phnom Penh

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergarten and school, and take part in trainings
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children and young people have access to high quality education – all the way from kindergarten to further training (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Cambodia).

How your support helps in Phnom Penh

Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.