Many visitors to Rainbow ask how the children came to the orphanage and the kind of life experiences that have brought them to this place for refuge. The children are drawn from three districts: Puok, Angkor Chum, and Angkor Thom -all in Siem Reap Province. Some are orphaned, abandoned, simply poor, and vulnerable who have no stable and caring family environment to support them, but who wish to live and study at the Rainbow and have an opportunity to complete their schooling. These children have a chance to develop into contributing members of society as their confidence and self-eaten are nurtured in a secure, caring, and stable environment with committed staff.
Rainbow Orphanage is located in an area of northern Cambodia were used to be a major area of conflict between Phnom Penh Government Soldiers and troops of the Khmer Rouge. Most of the young men of that time (1979-98) were recruited on both sides of the civil war. Many children were left fatherless. Also, until recently, the mortality rate among the women in childbirth was very high and many children were left motherless. Adults often drifted to towns seeking menial work as cleaners and laborers, but often the little money and either died or didn't return to their village at all, leaving no support for their surviving family members.
The Pol Pot period and the subsequent years of civil war saw a massive dislocation of the population and hence the disruption of normal village life. Many moved to other parts of the country or to neighboring countries to survive. A large number did not return. Relatives or grandparents who were left behind with the children often had little interest (or money) to provide education for the children. Some were ashamed of the status of the children -many were neglected, ignored, or abandoned.
Cambodia is a very traditional society - in its values and in its regard for the customs of marriage and the bringing up of children. According to custom, the parents approve and choose partners for their children - and most young people follow this custom. If the young people break this custom, their parents provide no support and often disown the couple. Often it is the children who suffer, being left abandoned.
About 85% of people living in the country are farmers - with no education and not enough land for cropping- and there is very little alternative unemployment. Many get heavily into Bank. Often they seek refuge in a neighboring country like Thailand. Once again, the children are either abandoned or left with aging grandparents.
Rainbow Orphanage has been established in this area to deal with some of these problems to assist these children and their families. We try to supplement the minimum Government services needed and provide care, food, shelter, and education for these very vulnerable children. We are pleased to say that already the first group of children has progressed to complete their high school education this year (2015), and we hope to give the opportunities for them to become nurses, health workers, or teachers, so they can become partners in contributing to and rebuilding the local communities.
All the children are educated at the state schools, now most of them are moving to secondary and high school in the town some children will finish high school in 2015. Outside state school time table we provided with extracurricular English instruction, Mathematics, Khmer literature, and provide many skills training like sewing, computer, feeding, planting, and the traditional Khmer dance and music course is given to them in order to teach and remember them the importance of Cambodia traditional and culture which Cambodia was famous.