The Wat Opot Children’s Community was started in 2003 to provide shelter for the Orphaned Children who became homeless when their parents died of AIDS. Some of the children were also infected with HIV and AIDS and had no one to care for them. Over the years the center has grown and now takes in OVCs of all ages, regardless of the circumstance, even if the case is not related to HIV.
There are between 45 to 55 children living full time at the Wat Opot Community. Education is the primary objective and all of the children attend school. Children not of school age are given pre-school classes. Those who are school age are given opportunity to study in extra classes and are also provided with training in English, art, construction, music, jewelry making, computers, animal husbandry, and cooking, so that by the time they leave the Center they are prepared to take responsibility for their own life. Several of the children have graduated from High School and are now in University studies. Others have left the community and are now in trade schools or have gotten married and have their own children. Residents of the Wat Opot Community are encouraged to make friends with other children outside of the community and as a result, there is little discrimination towards those infected with HIV and AIDS.
Partners in Compassion follows the standard guidelines set by the Ministry of Social Affair, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation, (MoSVY). In 2012 Partners in Compassion also signed agreements with the Ministry of Health (MoH), National AIDS Authority (NAA), and other relevant departments. As the report shows… several of the children have or are studying at university in Phnom Penh and most are able to communicate in English and have good computer skills.
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