photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Matt Reichel | profile | all galleries >> Living in a Landfill: Cambodia tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Living in a Landfill: Cambodia

Steung Mean Chey

The Phnom Penh City dump is located in the poorer suburb city of Steung Mean Chey, about a half hour from Phnom Penh City. Otherwise known as 'Smoky Mountain' this landfill is home to over a thousand people, many of which are poor or orphaned children, who spend all day searching through the piles of trash for recyclables to earn enough money just to feed themselves. Most people earn less than 4000 Riel a day, that's less than one US dollar a day. On top of all this hardship, the residents of 'smoky mountain' also are forced to pay rent to private landlords at ridiculous prices to even live in the dump. Children play in black, fetid water surrounded by piles of burning trash (hence the name ‘smoky mountain’), people have to eat whatever edible items they find, and everybody is forced to compete for trash in order to survive. Many of the orphaned children living in the landfill are runaways from parents that have tried to sell them into sex slavery, or abusive, overcrowded homes in the countryside.
In 2002 a Cambodian man by the name of Mech Sokha started CCH, or the Center for Children's Happiness, to help these orphaned children not only find suitable shelter and education, but also a clean, warn and loving home. Mech, who was orphaned himself by the Khmer Rouge, is a father to all the kids he supports, and they treat him thus. When Mech is around its hard for him to walk around with all the little kids hugging his legs and pinching his cheeks. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE visit www.cchcambodia.org to learn more about CCH and what you can do to help these kids. CCH is more than just an orphanage providing shelter and food, it is a home for these kids who have had to deal with so much terror, suffering and pain already so early in life. It is not just a home either; it is a happy, safe, encouraging home with fantastic teachers, staff and director. I really encourage anybody able to, with the means to, make a donation to CCH so it can continue to grow.


I visited Steung Mean Chey and CCH in June 2006. My globetrotting buddies and I passed out food (bread and bananas) at the dump and played with the children at CCH on our trip to Cambodia.
previous pagepages 1 2 3 4 ALL next page
IMG_0815.jpg
IMG_0815.jpg
IMG_0816.jpg
IMG_0816.jpg
IMG_0817.jpg
IMG_0817.jpg
IMG_0818.jpg
IMG_0818.jpg
IMG_0819.jpg
IMG_0819.jpg
IMG_0820.jpg
IMG_0820.jpg
IMG_0821.jpg
IMG_0821.jpg
IMG_0823.jpg
IMG_0823.jpg
IMG_0824.jpg
IMG_0824.jpg
IMG_0825.jpg
IMG_0825.jpg
IMG_0826.jpg
IMG_0826.jpg
IMG_0827.jpg
IMG_0827.jpg
previous pagepages 1 2 3 4 ALL next page