Eggshell Cambodia, has been established to provide protection and bring hope to children living in squalor and at risk in one of the most wonderful and traumatic cities of the world.
Phonm Penh, capital of Cambodia, is infamous for its traumatic history of the Khmer Rouge, the Killing Fields in the 1970s and its Civil War. There is a residue of those terrible days in the moral compass of the people. A beautiful country with beautiful people – but living under daily threat of exploitation, violence, trafficking and extreme poverty.
One of the greatest areas of concern is the trafficking and exploitation of children for sex work.
Mark and Liz Fetherstonhaugh – first developed an interest in and concern for Cambodia in 2008 and have been visiting and taking volunteer teams every year for the past 5 years. Much of our recent work has centred around areas of extreme poverty in the centre of Phnom Penh. Hundreds of families live on the streets, in derelict buildings, stilted wooden or tin shacks – the poorest families live in cardboard homes, built in the cesspits under other homes. It is almost impossible to describe the conditions where these people live, where parents are trying to raise their children, in extreme poverty, extreme deprivation and incredible vulnerability.
Children in these areas and circumstances are highly vulnerable – an unscrupulous neighbour or even family member may well attempt to sell them. There is no running water, sanitation or electricity and the community is swamped by sewage and rubbish. Children as young as one or two are left on their own as their parents attempt to earn a living; small children may be drugged, tethered or simply left to fend for themselves for hours on end while their parents are away. Many of the teenagers and young adults are addicted to alcohol and drugs – they are likely to prey upon and exploit the smaller children to fund their habits.
Mark and Liz founded Eggshell Cambodia to address these points of exploitation at source. Eggshell Cambodia seeks to provide protection, address health issues and tackle their educational and spiritual needs in loving Christian ways.