Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Abandoned elderly get new home

Abandoned elderly get new home

Abandoned elderly get new home

Elderly people sit at the Cambodia Retirement Village in Prey Veng province this month.

At the age of 84, Prey Veng province resident Pin Yorn has been living hand-to-mouth. He is unable to work due to his age, and three of his seven children are dead while three others moved far away after getting married.

With little support from his family, Pin Yorn says he and his wife, 82-year-old Sam In, “sometimes don’t have enough to eat” and are reliant on handouts from neighbours and from one of his daughters living nearby. 

But thanks to a new US$9,000 project aimed at helping the elderly of Cham Bak village in Kanh Chriech district’s Chong Ampil commune, he is now looking forward to a brighter future. 

“I hope that I have delicious food to eat and a good place to sleep before I die,” he said yesterday.

Pin Yorn and his wife, together with 10 other elderly village residents, are set to move into a new retirement home – thought to be the first of its kind in Cambodia.

Due to be inaugurated on Saturday, the centre – funded by donations from both individuals and NGOs – will provide food, shelter and medical care for elderly residents who cannot support themselves.

Kim Vuthy, project manager for Cambodia Retirement Village, said yesterday that it was the first centre in the Kingdom intended to help elderly people who had been abandoned by their children. 

“I was born in this village and I saw that most old people were abandoned, without care given to them by their children,” he said.

Such elderly people were forced to work hard to support themselves, he said, despite earlier hopes of being supported by their families when they grew old.

“We really hope that these 12 old people will be well treated… and live happily before they pass away. Our purpose is to reduce the difficulties of the elderly in my village, to contribute to the community development activities and to share a model for all people in society with the sense of sharing and supporting [community],” Kim Vuthy said. 

Members of the community have welcomed the scheme as a way of reducing the number of people forced to beg to survive.

Po Phal, Chong Ampil commune chief, said yesterday: “I think this is a good example for the next generation. There will no more old beggars walking along the road anymore in the future. They will have a home and they won’t need to leave to ask for money or food from someone else anymore.”

Project organisers hope to build additional centres in the future, but are acutely aware that expansion and up-keep are dependent on funding.  Plans to create a kitchen and living room at the centre would require raising another US$3,200 in funds. But despite monetary constraints, Kim Vuthy hopes that the government may choose to support the project in the future. “I have plans to create the same centre in another commune or province, but at this time I don’t have the ability or money to do it. What I have to do right now is help this centre to be strong,” he said.


  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • International buyers snap up new locally produced watch

    A Cambodian entrepreneur has launched a stylish high-end watch, hoping to promote the Khmer creative talent and increase demand for the Kingdom’s products abroad. Designer Seth Pitu launched his brand PU a mere 60 days ago, and hopes to combine traditional Khmer art with sleek