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