In discussions that Giacomo has been having with the older children of Wat Opot, the concern of some is for the future… not only their future but the future of the world as well. They have access now, through their telephones and television, to all of the negative things happening, and like most of us, are not sure what kind of world will be waiting for them when they leave our community.

There is a lot of negative propaganda about orphanages or children’s communities like ours and some of the accusations made are legitimate. Whenever vulnerable children are involved, there are those that would take advantage of not only the children but also the opportunity to exploit them… for financial gain.

I grew up in the ’50s in post-war America and my family did not have much to live on… except for the hope of a better future. As a family, we had to work hard to survive. I remember my parents going out to buy groceries and when they returned we would run out to the car to help carry the bags in, but they told us to wait until dark. I didn’t understand it at the time but the food came from a government program and they didn’t want the neighbors to see the packages because they were embarrassed to have to depend on welfare.

As a result, I had to work hard in a small garden where we grew tomatoes and potatoes. I eventually got a job as a paperboy so that I could help with the family expenses. I didn’t see it as work, however… I was happy that I could contribute.

In much the same way, the Wat Opot community is structured on a similar concept. A majority of the work that is done here, is done by the children.

From catching fish to planting gardens in the heat of the day, there is always work to do and usually workers that want to do it. They are paid of course for their labor… I do not believe in giving things away for free because it encourages dependency, and for that reason, there are usually more workers than there is work to do.

Working and living together is what sets Wat Opot apart from other places and even other normal families. Having the opportunity to be a contributing member of a family or group is something that is missing in the lives of so many children today… and for that reason, I would suggest that our children have it better than many others, who must carry the baggage that comes from living in a dysfunctional family.

I dropped in on one of Giacamo’s sessions and they asked me what they could do to make a more positive future happen… I told them we are already doing it.


Thanks for stopping in!

If you would like to be a sponsor of our community please go to the CONTACT page.

The Watopotians


Yesterday we got a call from Mr. Chansovandara Hong, saying he would like to come out with some of his friends to meet the kids.

They arrived at about 9 AM loaded with supplies and gifts for the kids.

After the introductions, they handed out personal gifts to all of the children including school books and supplies, snacks, soap, and the children’s favorite drinks ( and mine) 2 cans of Coke.

It was a great way to start out the morning however most of the children decided to drink both cans of Coke and so to get them down from their high after lunch, Mr. Somoeun decided to take most of the kids to Chisol Mountain to burn off some of their energy.

It is a long way to the top, too far for me to go anymore, but for the children, it was no problem.

It was a good experience for all of the children since it was the first time in over two years they have been on any kind of field trip. We are hoping that someday soon we can take a longer trip… perhaps to the coast.

Not everyone could make the climb on their own but Mr. Somoeun was there to help our newest and youngest child make it to the top.

It was a good day for everyone and we are so very grateful to all of our supporters for making memorable days like this one possible.

Thanks for stopping in!

If you would like to be a sponsor of our community please go to the CONTACT page.

The Watopotians


We have been working on the papers for three new children but have not yet arranged a time to meet with the authorities. For that reason when Mr. Somoeun told me to get ready to pick up two children I at first thought it was the case we were working on but instead, it was a new case involving two newly abandoned children.

The authorities were waiting for us with the children at the commune office and Mr. Somoeun and his assistant Chavmean started the paperwork…

while the children patiently waited for the adults to decide their fate.

It was all over in about an hour’s time and we now have two more new Watopotians.

Thanks for stopping in!

If you would like to be a sponsor of our community please go to the CONTACT page.

The Watopotians


The COVID restrictions are lifted and it is now time to start thinking about that Life changing experience of volunteering at Wat Opot.

Grace from Canada was our first volunteer in this new post-Covid era and stayed for a month.

Next came Giacomo from Finland / Italy, who is staying for a couple of months. This is his second visit, the first being a one-year tour before the Covid outbreak.

Last week it was Phil and Bronwyn from New Zealand who spent a week of their travel time with us to fix playground equipment. Phil has been here several times before.

No experience is necessary… stay at your own risk and expense and if you have a good time a little cash donation would be helpful in the end but not necessary. We are a community and enjoy sharing our daily life with others. For more information send your inquiry to

Wat Opot children with community children who study with us in the afternoon. So much potential with just a little supervision and guidance.

Thanks for stopping in!

If you can not volunteer at this time but would like to support our community, please check the “CONTACT” page to see how to send your donations.

The Watopotians


We were honored to have Professor Chem Oun and his colleagues visit us this past Sunday. They brought with them rice, noodles, and sauces for our daily needs…

But also COKE and sandwiches for each of the children and staff.

 In a time when international support for communities like ours is dwindling… it is good to know that the Khmer people are stepping in to give us assistance.

 We are very grateful to them and to all who continue to support and encourage us.

The Watopotians


The uncertainties of the past couple of years have had a huge effect on our program… and on me. I was all set to retire in 2020 and had purchased a one-way business class ticket home, thinking it would be my last flight to anywhere, so I might as well enjoy it. The COVID Pandemic changed all of that of course, as my flight was canceled. I don’t regret that however, because we ended up playing an important role in the cremations of nearly 200 victims of COVID… and with the funds we received for doing them, we were able to continue caring for the children in our custody. Grants from the Sakka Foundation and our friends in Taiwan also sustained us, along with donations and gifts from others… however, most of that support has now been terminated because of the anti-orphanage campaigns or conditions resulting from China’s present aggressive behavior toward Taiwan. Don’t get me wrong… this is not a plea for money but I would be lying if I told you that I was not concerned for the future of our community. Other orphanages and group homes are closing down because of a lack of funds and for that reason when Social Services called and said they had six new children who they needed to place, my initial response was to say NO, for the first time in our communities history. After hearing the stories of the children, however, I had to reconsider.

Today we took in the first of the six children referred to us. A seven-year-old boy who has been taken out of his family for reasons I can not make known in this writing. We do not know the extent of damage done to him at this point… that will come out in time. He has never attended school.

Times have changed and what use to be a simple agreement with a guardian to take over a Childs care, is now a process involving several people. Paperwork has to be filled out and signed by Social Services and government officials.

 Our Director Mr. Somoeun and his assistant Chavmean do most of the paperwork…

 While social services and government officials wait to approve and stamp the papers with their Seal and add their fingerprints to make the papers legal.

The process takes about an hour and so there is time to discuss the circumstances that brought us all together …

 unfortunately, the discussions are done in front of the child, who has very little say in the decisions being made for him by the adults in the room.

“It takes a village to raise a child.” but when there are problems of abuse, it takes concerned people to look for solutions. Partners in Compassion-Cambodia and the Wat Opot Community are back in the business of being a refuge for the Vulnerable children of Cambodia.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Watopotians


The rainy season has come again which is great for gardens, trees, and flowers, however, it also gives weeds and other unwanted plant life the opportunity to grow, especially in our fish ponds. The pond by the kitchen was so overgrown that you could literally walk across it.

It’s a lot of work and only the best swimmers can cut the sections of grass because the pond is deep and the weeds often don’t surrender easily and like to wrap their roots around the ankles of those who push the sections to the shoreline.

The weeds and grass are waterlogged and require a lot of teamwork from our strongest children to get them into the carts.

But once loaded they are carted away by our younger children, to our garden areas where they will be used as compost.

And even the youngest can participate in picking up the stuff that falls off of the carts while being transported to the gardens… at times putting it to good use to protect themself from the Sun.

Thanks for stopping in to check on us!



The Wat Opot family is so fortunate to have many good friends and supporters who make it possible to keep our doors open while other organizations are finding it difficult to keep going. Here are just a few that we would like to introduce you to:

 A Big Thanks to Kevin Tseng for another nutritious donation of milk and fruit and his monthly cash donations…

And to Ms. Lor Cheahuy / Mr.Lor Chea Ming / Mrs.Sovan Ang Eng / Mrs. Lay Chhiv Lin / Mrs. Kim Houy and Mr. and Mrs. Pue Vanmolinda and their children Sovan and Visal for their generous supply of soap, shampoo, and hygiene supplies as well as a computer desk and chair plus rice, noodles, and sauces…

And to the LIONS CLUB for their generous donation of rice, noodles, snacks, and sauces that should keep us going for quite a while.

And last but certainly not least:

The Singaporean Families of 黃馬家蘭, 黃秀琴, and 胡麗莉OH LAY LEE for their generous cash donation. We are grateful to all of them… and the many more who support us as we continue to serve the most vulnerable children and families in our area.

The Watopotians!


With the COVID restriction now lifted in Cambodia, we are beginning to get visitors again and even have new and old volunteers interested in coming to help us redefine the post-Covid programs at Wat Opot. That of course means having to get everything back in shape, which is no small task, but by working together we have things looking pretty good again and have even added some new areas for visitors to see.

Here Mr. Ouen, our director, is assigning work details for the children… some for cleaning and others for planting gardens.

The pool has been upgraded with a wall to stop dirt and leaves from blowing in, which saves me a lot of work and also gives me better control of the children when the pool is open to the public.

And the wall of the artwork left a few years back using old CDs, that had faded into a dirty outside wall of the bathrooms and lost its pizazz, was repainted, and now stands out as soon as you enter the pool gates.

and thanks to the donation of solar lights, our Memorial Garden can now be seen from the road throughout the night. We have had people stop during the day to inquire and tour the crematorium because it is rather unique in our area. Many of the people were not aware of our Community, until the COVID cremations.

Thanks for stopping in… we hope some of you will be able to visit us in the coming year and help us build on providing new programs that are meaningful and in keeping with the constantly changing needs of the times we are living in.

The Watopotians


A hot and lazy Sunday afternoon with nothing to do except to watch CNN breaking news (or more accurately broken news because it plays over and over again like a broken record).

Decided to open the pool for the kids which got my mind off of the problems of the world for just a while.

I remind the children nearly every night at meditation of how fortunate we are to live in a peaceful environment. They do keep up with things on social media and so discussions are not unusual and I think it is important to remain open to their concerns.