Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cambodian Orphans

If all goes well (there is still one MAJOR hurdle to overcome), I will be in Cambodia in just a few weeks. "Little" is visiting me in Virginia this week (more on how awesome that is later), and we have started to do a little research to get me ready for the trip.

If you haven't heard yet, I will be going to Cambodia for a 3 months internship, learning the more administrative, legal, and fundraising side of orphanages. I will be at 2 different orphanages during my time. (I believe one will be more rural, and the other in Phnom Penh, but I'm not positive.) One of the orphanages specifically provides care to children caught up in child trafficking.

Our research taught us the following information today-

Governmental lack of urgency condemns half a million Cambodians to life as orphans (Issues regarding the Hague Treaty ratification.)

Understanding intercountry adoption and what the Hague Treaty is all about.

258 orphanages in the country. 21 government run, 237 privately owned.

There are over 550,000 orphans in Cambodia. (The definition of orphan is different in Cambodia. Many children do still have one parent, or a family member living, but the child has been placed in an orphanage.)

In spite of this high number of orphans, there are only about 10,000 children in "institutions" (orphanages).

There are several conflicting statistics on how many of the orphans are HIV positive. Suffice it to say, many of the orphans are the children of prostitutes, and are HIV+.

There is currently a moratorium on intercountry adoptions. (Meaning children cannot leave Cambodia.) This is due to a lack of ratification of the Hague Treaty.

As excited and ready as I am for my trip, everything is completely dependent on a client paying me in full this week. If the client doesn't pay, my trip will likely be postponed indefinitely or completely called off. Will you think positive thoughts for me and pray everything goes smoothly? Thanks!

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