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Cambodia -
Phnom Penh - NGO - Pour un Sourire d'Enfant 

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July 2004


We have spent several days in Cambodia, in Phnom Penh, in the NGO "Pour un Sourire d'Enfant" (PSE).
which means : "For the smile of a child"
The web site is www.pse.asso.fr .

10 years ago, Christian and Marie France des Pallières have created this NGO to get out thousand of children
who worked everyday on the public rubbish of Phnom Penh.

The situation was unimaginable, unbearable. Each day, thousand of children came on the rubbish to pick up
the garbage to get ridiculous money. More than 4000 children have been put to school by the NGO, but
there is still more than thousand. "Pour un Sourire d'Enfant" works only on the basis of sponsorship.

The rubbish releases a noxious smoke, reason of the important headache of the children
Before arriving on the rubbish, the garbage has been already sorted... there is nearly nothing after.
When the truck arrives, people rush on it to be served first...the children do not have access to those
garbage, they have to pay the drivers. They are only allowed to follow the caterpillar which turns over
regularly the garbage. The ncured risk is enormous. Frequently, some children are caught under the
caterpillars and let their life.
The children make between 500 and 1500 riels per day (0,15 Euros). One kilo of rice costs around 1000 riels.

The situation on the rubbish is nearly a paradise for these children who live a hell in their family.
The Red Khmers actions in the past has destroyed a generation by the horrors they have commited.
A father said to his children : "I have killed my parents, it will not be difficult to kill my children".

Usually, the children work on the rubbish while their parents drinks alcohool. When they are back home,
they eat the rest of food, if there is, and suffer from the hits of their father.

The first action of PSE was to be sure that the children have at least one meals per day and a minimum
of care (shower, doctor visit...).It is the action of "la paillote", on the rubbish.


The great majority of the children taken by the association are in the local municipal schools.
On the other hand, PSE center welcomes the children for the accelarate school, the proffessionnal training
and the boarding school for the girls who are in danger in their family. A nutrition center takes care
of the youngest.




The case of Marie looks like more of an horror film than the 2004 reality...
Marie is two years old. She is disable. She has been sold by her mother for 10$ to a woman who wanted to use
her to get moneu in the streets. PSE wanted to take her in the center and has been to pay 30$.
Is she disable from birth ? we will never know


The fast school center allow the children who have never been to school to go back in the normal school cycle
For that, they learn two years of school programs in a single civil year.
The progress of the days are made to give back a balance in the life of these children (mainly girls, because
they are the most maltreated in their family)

                                       shower for all, everyday...
      the center sends to sleep,     
                             the children do not sleep well in their family

       washing hands before the meals
             thirst of learning...
break, sport... the rugby team of PSE is champion of Cambodia
                       permanent enthousiasm                traditional dance
Rising colors like all school of the country        theater pour exorcize the memories...
But, bring to school the children, without be sure they have a job in the futur, is not enough. For that,
PSE has developed a training center which is recognised in the whole country.

Starting with an important lateness, the students have access to a very modern equipment. Their training
is among the best in Cambodia and give them teh insurance to integrate the working life easily.
                assistant school                                    company simulation
english lessons...after 2 years, their level is excellent

                           Hôtel trade, restoration

                    gardening, gate keeping for the ringleader of the rubbish

Those children brough money from the rubbish. "Pour un Sourire d'Enfant" must compensate the families
for it. It id done by the distribution of the equivalent in rice.

To make the center working, PSE employs 300 people (mainly cambodian)...
                                        uniforms ready-made

Our stay in Cambodia within "Pour un Sourire d'Enfant" has been really upseting, but full of expectation
in the extraordinary work of PSE and its founders Christian et Marie France des Pallières,
but also a life lesson, full of enthusiasm, joy of live from these girls...

In july 2004, there was more than 1000 children on the rubbish....a sponsorship correspond with
a stamp carnet per month (in France)...

In december 2002, PSE received from the french Prime Minister, the price of the Human Rights of
the French Republique. Eralier, PSE has been recognised as an "Association de Bienfaisance" and then
can receive bequests.

Do not accept the unacceptable .... connect to the web site of "Pour un Sourire d'Enfant" - one clic !!
or directely on the sponsorship demand page .. HERE

If i did not convince you, Christian et Marie France des Pallières make a France tour every year
to present their work and get some sponsorship. Ask some informations, always on the website : www.pse.asso.fr


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