Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Slot cars raise money for orphans

Slot cars raise money for orphans

Slot cars raise money for orphans

Sopheak Som, 20, and Samay Suon, 20,.with Neville O’Grady standing beyond one of the New Futures Orphanage tuk tuks in front of the Phnom Penh Car Racing Center on Street 130

IN 2007 while working with children in Ghana, Neville O’Grady saw an advertisement that said “small orphanage in Cambodia needs help,” so he came to the Kingdom and decided to stay.

Originally from Skegness in Lincolnshire, England, O’Grady was an industrial engineer with British Aerospace working in Cairo, where he first started working with charities.

“It’s one thing to make a great whopping salary,” he says. “It’s a damned sight nicer to see a young girl or boy start a good life.”

In the capital, on Street 130, O’Grady has the Phnom Penh Car Racing Center where people can race slot cars for 10 minutes for 2,000 riel (50 US cents) and the proceeds go to the orphanage in Takeo, a rural town about 79 kilometers south.

He also has two bright yellow tuk tuks that visitors can take.

Once the running costs are paid, the proceeds go to the orphanage.

With 165 children, the NGO is called New Futures and includes a library and a vocational training room. There’s also a guest house called New Futures Center where visitors can stay for $5 per night and teach the children at the orphanage what they know.

“The most valuable thing the volunteers do with the kids is sit and talk to them,” O’Grady said. “One lady from England donated 1,000 quid.”

In addition to the tuk tuks, O’Grady operates a mobile library to bring books to seven rural schools.

“We make sure all the kids have got a book with them,” he said.

“Most of the kids want to take care of their families and we want to help them into good jobs.”


  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk