Trilogy Environmental Systems is proud to be involved in a number of philanthropic projects, supporting people and organizations doing work to make our world a better place. In August and September, Trilogy had the opportunity to provide funding and support to the David Center Orphanage in Northern Cambodia, operated by Transform Asia which is based out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Our time in Cambodia allowed us to get a first hand look at how much need there really is in this area of the world and explore some of the ways that we could be a part of creating sustainable change for the future.
Cambodia is a country that, not unlike Rwanda, is still recovering from a genocide that destroyed the large majority of it’s educated population. Because of this, the country has been on a slow road of recovery, as so much of a nation’s economic growth and development rests in the hands of it’s educated populace.
Extreme poverty is still rampant, and it’s not hard to drive down the street in one of the larger cities and feel like you are looking at life spanning over 100 years. Ox carts share the road with Land Rovers, and simple shelters share the same city as fully furnished homes. This is a reality for many developing countries, but the disparity between the two is exceptionally evident in Cambodia.
David Center Orphanage
The main scope of our work happened in the Anlong Veng district of the country near the Thai border. In what became a very busy few days we took an area on the orphanage land that had previously been unused and heavily water-logged (see the picture below), and with a lot of help from the 60+ children of the orphanage, transformed it into a playground area where they can play and just be kids.
One of the saddest things you see is so many children losing their childhood, whether it’s the girls who are sold as sex slaves at a very young age or the young boys and girls forced to find ways to provide for themselves or their siblings when they lose parents or have families with too many children for the parents to care for. Our talks with the organization had emphasized the importance of the playground for the kids who lived at the orphanage, and we couldn’t agree more with the importance of providing something lasting that can give children the chance to play and enjoy being a child. This is only compounded if they have come from a life that has taken that away from them up till now.
The finished playground (see the picture below) turned out better than we could have expected. It was the beginning of the rainy season, so we ended up working in the rain for a good portion of our time there which made everything more difficult, but it also meant work could go on longer than if we had to deal with the heat and humidity.
Education is hugely important for these kids, and we were impressed to see a number of them with strong English language skills. It was such a pleasure to be able to provide a total of 47 bicycles to the orphanage so that each and every child there would have transportation to get to and from school. This was another big need, and something that we believe will also have a lasting impact on not only these children, but the kids the bikes get handed down to in the future.
There’s so much more that could be said, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll leave you with a few more images taken from our time with the incredibly warm and friendly Cambodian people. Along with our time at the orphanage, we had the opportunity to be involved with teaching vocational skills to a number of girls rescued from sex trafficking at a rehabilitation and education center in another part of the country. We were also given the opportunity to visit a feeding center that provides meals for hundreds of children, many of them orphans in a rural area of the country. Leaving Cambodia, we were left with greater faith in humanity and in people’s ability to care for those who can’t care for themselves.
As a business, we are grateful for the opportunity to participate in projects like these whenever we can because we philosophically believe that business has a responsibility to do good, to give, and to make a positive impact in the world. For Trilogy this is a key driver to everything we do, and we hope that other businesses continue to see this importance as well.