Riverkids started with one little girl’s bravery.
In late 2001, the adopted daughter of a Singapore family told her new parents how she had been trafficked. She had been warned never to speak of it, abused and deceived again and again, and she took a leap of faith and trusted again.
The adoptive family found the rest of the children, adopting two more, and began building ties with the Cambodian community their children are from. We started with the children of a neighbour who had helped our children. Slowly we added some more children until in early 2005 we had twelve children at kindergarten and school. The children had overcome huge obstacles and were flourishing. Other families wanted their children to join, but we didn’t have the resources for more.
So in August 2005, we took a deep breath and decided to look for more supporters. Friends and families joined in, and we were able to rent a room and then a house, hire teachers and social workers and grow.
In 2007, we registered as a local non-governmental organization in Cambodia, Riverkids Foundation. We set up a private charitable trust in Singapore, Riverkids Project, to oversee the finances and operations.
We now have three sites, Alexandra, Blum and Railway 2, with more than 400 children in Phnom Penh. We have had babies born, teenagers graduate and go on to safe jobs, and seen families transformed.