Part 2: Is This Orphanage Really an Orphanage?

by Elizabeth

If you haven’t read Part 1, in which I describe the conditions of an average Cambodian orphanage, please do so now. The rest of this series might not make much sense without that background.

This post, Part 2, will explain more about the orphanage crisis in Cambodia, for those of you who want facts and stats.

If you aren’t interested in the data, or don’t have the time to read all of it, stay tuned for Part 3, which will detail the encouraging work of Children in Families


As I’ve mentioned before, deciding to talk about the orphanage problem in Cambodia has been very difficult for me, and felt like a huge risk on my part. I have friends all over the world running orphanages, and I don’t want to alienate people – especially friends.

But the truth is that I’m not talking about orphanages all over the world; I’m talking about an orphanage problem specific to my location in Cambodia. I’m only speaking from my own observations in this country, and I don’t know what orphan care looks like in other countries. But I do know one thing: the longer I’ve lived here, in this corrupt system, the more it has burned on my heart to tell this story. So now I am telling it.

Another thing to remember here is that I am painting with broad brushstrokes. Not every single orphanage matches these descriptions, but far too many do. I am not criticizing specific orphanages; I am drawing attention to the disturbing trends among most Cambodian orphanages. It is easy to find exceptions to these trends and then dismiss the issue altogether. But my point is that the issue exists — there are many bad orphanages in Cambodia, and something must be done about it.

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