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Founded by Christian and Marie-France des Pallières, this not-for-profit association helps underprivileged children in the Cambodian capital.
"It all began one day in 1995, when we saw children eating food from the refuse tip at Stung Meanchey, in Phnom Penh," explain Christian and Marie-France des Pallières. "After that, we found it impossible to carry on with our normal lives." At the tip, the smoke from burning dustbins gives off toxic gases, dwellings are unsanitary, and the stench is foul. The inhabitants – mostly young orphans – live without medical care, schooling or adequate food.
The following year, the couple returned to the site, distributing meals and assessing needs. Working through the association, they now offer a comprehensive programme of help: rice, bank loans for re-housing, microcredit for new business initiatives, literacy classes for young mothers. New building projects provide showers, educational support, a canteen, nursery school and sports grounds, plus access to professional training for older children.
The NGO pays for underprivileged children who have not fallen behind to attend local schools, and has also set up a specialist division catering for the needs of handicapped children – the first of its kind in Cambodia.
The Foundation is continuing Hermès's initial support for this not-for-profit organisation, providing daily help to 6,500 young people, and offering them the chance of an independent, working future.