Award-winning photographer gives back to the community

Award-winning photographer gives back to the community

17 peter phoeng

Last week Glamazon 2.0, the glittery arts and entertainment- style exhibition, included guests ranging from business executives and socialites to NGO personel and supporters of the community.

Peter Phoeng, one of several photographers selected, travelled from Siem Reap to attend the charity event. Recently, he was recognised for his photography talents and was awarded first place in multiple internet photo competitions.

Peter is the owner of Angkor Pearl Hotel, which opened in 2010 in Siem Reap. Angkor Pearl has been honoured by TripAdvisor as Best Bargain Hotel for three consecutive years. He prides himself in providing the highest quality service to his guests and directly trains each staff member of his hotel to have first class customer service.

In addition to managing Angkor Pearl Hotel, and being a photographer, Peter spends his time teaching English to Cambodians and volunteers at the local orphanage, Little Angels Orphanage and Khmer Arts Center. The orphanage, established in 2002, was started by Sirey Rattana who was an orphan himself.

“Rattana’s parents were killed during the Khmer Rouge. He really cares for the kids as if they were his own. When they are sick he does his best to find a way to make sure they get better,” said Phoeng.

With 72 orphans (54 boys, 18 girls) and five teachers, ‘Little Angels’ has three classrooms, two large bedrooms (1 for boys and 1 for girls) and a kitchen.

Every week, Peter visits Little Angels and donates food and supplies, helps with their English, spends time with his sponsor child, and also meets with the director to find ways to help improve the orphanage and help them reach their goals.

“The logo of Little Angels is a mountain with an angel on top. It pertains to these kids who struggle to get to the highest point,” stated Phoeng. “Once they get passed that point that’s when they get their wings and fly, and excel to be better. “

What makes this orphanage unique and special is that it teaches important skills and provides opportunities to better their life. Although they were abandoned by family, Little Angels provides a sense of family.

Not only do they help within the orphanage, they also help their own community. Their motto: Learn to Earn. The kids are artists and sell their work at the market. The profit goes to the orphans and remaining pays for the materials, food and accommodation.

“A misconception is that some view it as child labor. In fact, Little Angels provides them this shelter to learn and earn, to be independent, stay off the streets, and promote productivity rather than roaming the streets,” added Phoeng. “They are not looking for money donations, but for people to buy their art work.”

A percentage of the profit from Angkor Pearl Hotel is used to buy items the orphanage requires such as; medicine, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes/toothpaste, toys, school supplies, mosquito nets and food.

If you would like to help, please contact [email protected] A Facebook and website will soon be created.