Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Volunteers in clean sweep of city streets




Volunteers in clean sweep of city streets

Volunteers in clean sweep of city streets

O VER 300 dedicated volunteers are each week befriending orphans, providing free

education to illiterate adults and children, collecting garbage and doing city

beautification works, and offering rehabilitation programs to villains in

projects launched by the Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development

(CVCD).

Arn Chorn Pond, Deputy-President of CVCD, founded in December

1992, said: "CVCD has 40 volunteer staff divided into different groups which

organize over 300 people to help the community in particular areas. We

especially try to help the poor and vulnerable people."

Pond said: "One

staff group organizes people to collect rubbish twice monthly.

A

volunteer garbage cleaner said: "I do about 3 days work a month with CVCD, I get

no pay but I'm enthusiastic to do my job because I don't want Khmers to be

despised by foreigners.

"The team are happy to clean any area and are

always available to take up duty upon the request of local authorities who

sometimes get involved in the projects. We also educate people on being

clean."

Another volunteer said: "Before we did not discriminate as to

which areas we cleaned. Often we would clean areas near big business places, but

the people there were so mean they would not even spend a small amount of money

to buy drinking water for us.

"Often poor monks who helped the team had

to buy water for us. Volunteers are now more eager to clean in poor

areas."

Pond said: "The garbage collecting group now has problems due to

a lack of equipment. We used to borrow garbage trucks and equipment from the

Phnom Penh municipality cleaning service to collect and dispose of garbage. But

since the French firm APD took over responsibility for collecting Phnom Penh's

rubbish we can no-longer borrow the equipment."

Pond said: "Another CVCD

group teach English and Khmer to illiterate people. So far we have taught

English to about 500 adults. Other men attend our rehabilitation classes. Often

they confess they do nothing during the day and steal during the night because

they consider themselves unfortunate and unable to live normal

lives."

Chin Kethya, an English teacher who assists CVCD, said: "I am

happy to teach students free of charge because I want to see Khmers be

self-reliable and I do not want foreigners to look down on

Khmers."

Kethya said the educational programs at CVCD had helped over 350

adults find jobs, and the rehabilitation programs had helped over 70 percent of

villains and desperados to become better people.

Pond said: "Another CVCD

group, called 'Big Brothers and Sisters', coordinate people to become friends

with orphans. The group also organized activities for the orphans like taking

them to the countryside.

"We used to take the orphans swimming at the

Cambodiana, but now the hotel will not let the children swim there, and the

manager refuses to meet us to discuss the issue."

Pond said: "Another

CVCD group, called 'Save the Children', is dedicated to helping the city's poor

children. Each day over 50 children attend one and a half hour classes where

they learn basic Khmer."

 

Pond, A 34 year old Cambodian American, complained: "CVCD completely lacks

everything. Of our staff only the English teachers get paid anything, $30 per

month funded by PACT. We have no budget to do anything. Our office has no

furniture or equipment, but ICCD has pledged to provide us with about 15

computers. We hope to expand and have offices and programs in every province."

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,