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 Touch Srey Nich Life




Living in Poverty:  These children have no parents.  They do not have an education, or a school to attend.  They scavenge for food because they are hungry everyday.  Some go without eating.


           Srey La & Dalin

 While on a visit to the dump, found her mother extremely sick and took her in. Someone had called to a small, fly infested tent where he found Koan, 34, extremely sick and with no medical care, pain relief or clean water. Rejected by her family due to the stigma associated with her illness, she was left to die on her own. Little Srey La, just seven years old, was sent out to work every day, picking garbage to get enough money so that she and her mother could eat.

One of Koan's wishes from her hospital bed was that we look after her 12 year old son Dalin. 


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    Srey Chan, 6-years old

Srey Chan was found on a trip to Steung Meanchey, the city garbage dump.

When she was 4, her family moved from the provinces to Phnom Penh, to escape subsistence farming and try for a better life. They settled at Steung Meanchey in hopes that more money could be made picking garbage, but their life has been a difficult one.

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Kagna, 12-years old
Nita, 10-years old

Kagna and Nita were sent from their impoverished home in Kandal Province by parents who could no longer feed themselves and six children.

The sisters’ destination was Steung Meanchey, Phnom Penh’s garbage dump, where they would live and be under the supervision of their great aunt. The hope was that Nita and Kagna, by picking through the garbage, searching for recyclables, along with 500 to 600 other children in similar situations, would earn enough to feed themselves and perhaps enough to send some home.

From the green island community in Kandal to the filth and squalor of the dump took a serious toll on the girls’ health. When found by Scott on March 17, 2005, they were suffering from upper respiratory infections and malnutrition.

They were brought to the safety organization the day they were found, receiving medical treatment, food and clean clothes. That week, after negotiations with the great aunt, they enrolled at the organization and commenced an education program that includes Khmer reading and writing, English, computer training and nightly dance and drama school. Nita is hoping someday to become a teacher.

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Netra, 10-years old

Netra was one of the first students to attend school. However, her schooling was often interrupted by her parents, who would remove her from school to work at the dump. There she would pick through garbage from 5am to noon, then again from evening to midnight or 1am, usually to redeem 50¢ a day.

Netra now attends school full-time, eats three meals a day at the organization, and has settled into a comfortable room on the third floor with her friends. Her progress in school is gradual, as she had fallen behind, but her scores are good. Recently,


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