The House of Family project in Phnom Penh was founded in 2004 by the St. Elisabeth College of Health and Social Care in Bratislava, Slovakia, and currently provides roof to 61 children up to the age of 21. The project also includes a few HIV negative children, mostly brothers or sisters, not to tear family ties of the orphans.
HIV / AIDS is usually associated with immoral or promiscuous way of life (drug abuse, homosexuality, polygamy), and therefore it rather evokes prejudice than compassion. This is however not the case of children in the House of Family project in Phnom Penh. Unfortunately, these were already born infected.
In the 1990s, Cambodia had the highest prevalence of the virus in all of Asia. Due to its history (civil war, genocide, famine), the country is socially weakened.
It lacks any social system, which would provide care for disabled and elderly people, or orphans. A single walk on the streets will make you understand.
After a few meters, you get approached by a legless being resembling a man, creeping on the ground, raising his palm up to you… a pitiful old woman (most elderly people can only dream of a dignified retirement)… or children who, instead of going to school, do their daily begging.Often they are subjected to big stress and fear for their families, if they don’t make enough money.
Lacking basic needs, they struggle to survive from day to day…
…and all of our children in the House of Family come from such environment. It’s the first generation of children born with HIV, while most of them have seen their parents die. They end up literally on the street, or with their relatives, who themselves have nothing. Without therapy, their life expectancy would be 5-6 years.
Since 2008 the project was extended to Sihanoukville with a capacity of 60 children there. We are happy to see more and more of “our” children in stabilized health conditions. They appreciate highly what they receive. They cooperate perfectly in therapy, recognizing its importance. At school, they try their best, and enjoy their free time. Their daily lives outside of the project would look drastically different. In the project’s 11 years of existence, the House of Family became their true family. 🙂
Who are partners?
On the project House of Family cooperate also civic association – non profit organization, Dvojfarebný svet. Thanks to this organization, since 2009, people all around the world can financially support our children through program called Adoption program. This money is not used while they live in the orphanage, but after they leave our orphanage to provide them everything what is needed. Dvojfarebný svet also participates since 2013 and financially supports the Half-way Houses project, for older children, where they take care about themselves and learn how to be independent. The House of Family project provides the kids with social care: housing, clothing, food, education, English lessons, free-time activities, and, most of all, a 24 hour health care, HAART – antiretroviral therapy (stopping the virus reproduction), laboratory testing and health monitoring, prophylaxis and treatment of opportune infections.
Also thanks to such projects, Cambodia earned international recognition in fighting HIV, as the prevalence decreased from 3,3% (1997) to 0,6% (2005), (UNAIDS, 2009).
In case that you decide to support the project, the children will be happy to write you a letter or make a drawing. They have open hearts and are very thankful. Finally you can support a good cause, without having to worry that your money makes a true change.
Our local partners: Ministry of Health Care and Ministry of Social Affairs in Cambodia, National Laboratory in Phnom Penh, WHO in Cambodia, local NGOs.