A ROUND 11,000 volunteers, including monks, prostitutes, beer girls, police, soldiers
and students, are cleaning up Phnom Penh once a fortnight in projects launched by
Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development (CVCD).
Sek Sophal, president of CVCD which was founded in Dec 1992, said: "CVCD has
30 volunteer staff divided into different groups which organize about 11,000 people
to help sweep streets and clean dirty areas in Phnom Penh."
He said the volunteers - most of them poor and unemployed - came from all over Cambodia.
"They volunteer to work with us because we provide them with free education
and we will find them a proper job when they finish their studies with CVCD educational
programs," he said.
So far CVCD had helped about 400 people find jobs, he said.
CVCD provides free English and Thai lessons to the volunteers six days a week; in
exchange they collect garbage and work in projects beautifying the city.
The volunteers were happy to help clean the city, he said. "Even prostitutes,
they are also happy with my projects and help us to sweep along streets," he
A volunteer who works as a prostitute, Tit Nary, 25, said: "I became a member
of the CVCD because I wanted to study English. I do two days of work a month with
CVCD... I get no pay but I'm happy to work because I want the city to be clean."
Sek Sophal said since CVCD was founded it had received $53,000 from PACT, $10,000
from the Germany embassy and $5,000 from the British embassy.
CVCD was using the PACT money for a tree planting project, the money from Germany
for its city clean-up program and the British money for education projects.