The orphanages at Sre Ampil and Battambang were set up by Son Soubert and his late father Son Sann in 1994.
After two decades of civil war and occupation they worked with refugees returning from the camps on the Thai border. They then concentrated their efforts on helping street children and orphans and used their own funds to purchase land and provide shelter originally for 25 boys and girls. Over the years with help from family and friends they were able to improve and extend the facilities.
Son Soubert is a member of the Constitutional Council, cofounder of the Human Rights party and remains an Adviser to the Khmer Foundation which manages the orphanages. He is a kind, compassionate person who has worked continuously to improve the living standards of the poor in his country.
English Language lessons are held daily both at Sre Ampil and Battambang. Volunteers sometimes come to help out our English teacher, Tra who also arranges classes for the young children who live in the village adjacent to the orphanage.
We also have a classroom allocated for teaching IT but as yet have not been able to find funds to provide the computers and teacher that we need. We hope that we can organize it soon because the children really need computer skills to go on to higher education or find work. There are other educational activities during the weekend such as traditional dance, music and Japanese lessons.
Wouter and Dico who are working on solar energy products at Kamworks gave a couple of music lessons to the children. They are drummers and mix Western and Cambodian music culture together. They concentrate on rhythm and get the kids without drums to clap. Then the other melodic instruments join in and ends in a happy vibrant party, with some promising musicians. So look out for the “Sre Ampil Orphanage Band” in the near future.
Most of the boys at the centre love football and are have had some training sessions with Marco, Berto and Wouter. Usually when the boys get back from school they just want to play a match and score the winning goal. Now these Dutch guys are concentrating more on technical aspects of the game which the boys initially found a little boring. However progress is being made and this training will eventually improve their all round skills.