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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGOs' priorities

NGOs' priorities

The Editor,

Attention NGOs. Thank you for all the legitimate assistance

you have contributed to the rehabilitation and revitalization of the Kingdom of


Some of you are doing a wonderful job. But some appear to have

their priorities screwed up.

I was appalled to read the recent articles

in the news stating that NGOs actually follow foreigners and stake out parks to

attempt to identify pedophiles. My God! Couldn't your donated monies be better


You refer to "shoeless, hungry dirty 15-year-old boys sleeping

with foreigners for food and money." This is shocking and we all should be

upset. But, about what? Nobody can justify sexual abuse of any


But what about the "rapes" you carry out daily? How many shoes,

homes, nice bags etc. would a $40,000 Land cruiser buy? How much assistance

could you give directly by living in a $500 per month house instead of a $3,000

villa? There are many NGO families living in the Cambodiana at over $180 plus

per night. I have heard accounts of salaries of $7,000 a month. Why not give

these kids what they need instead of using donated money to attack foreigners

working or on holiday here? Eliminate the problem of poor, homeless kids and

there will be no source for these perverts.

We all hear stories of poor

families actually selling their virgin daughters so they can get enough rice to

survive and an income to school younger children. The crime really is they have

to do this. The predators are 99 percent Asian men.

These newspaper

reports travel the world. Do we want Phnom Penh seen as another Pattaya or

Manila when it really is not? Why are you trying to make the impression it


Of course human rights are imperative. But if your baby was starving,

if you had no real home or income and your son came home with $10, I bet you

would not complain.

Most people would do anything to survive. You should

be doing more to help that survival. We are hearing that Cambodia has the

highest child death rate in the world and yet you are more concerned about a

15-year-old consenting to a sexual act. Why? Spend more money on health care and

education. Assist in teaching employment skills, or small business


I regularly see people bathing in ditches, drinking unclean

tap water and worse. People are fleeing war zones and you spend thousands of

dollars chasing down one man who may or may not be guilty of an illegal act. I

guess you could be called hypocrites. Oh my, aren't I insulting! Well, I have

picked a dying child up off the street, abandoned because his mother had no food

and he was sick. With the help of the Red Cross Children's Hospital and a little

money, the child lived. We got the mother a job selling bread and last heard

they were doing OK.

I would really like to read your mandates, see how

you are following them and see who finances you

If you cannot help the

poor before they take drastic steps to survive, then go home and give your money

to an NGO that is doing some hands-on good.

- Adam Chew, NGO worker, Phnom Penh and California.

PS. The

Khmer Rouge gets 15 years for killing three foreigners and you want Dr Scott to

get 10 -15 years for what he might have done. Shame on you.



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