Every morning around 7 o'clock, as the sun rises over Phnom Penh, 130 three-to-six year olds make their way from home to our Community Centre.
They are part of our Day Care program, an early-education based curriculum that includes lessons in Khmer, English, hygiene, manners and respect for others.
Our Day Care Program began in December 2007 so local children could enjoy a safe, caring and clean place to play and learn. Healthy meals, fresh fruit, safe drinking water and a daily health and nutrition check from CCF's on-site nurse are all part of the program.
When children enroll in CCF Day Care, they're also given all the necessary childhood immunisations: measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and polio - a life-saving opportunity Steung Meanchey children would normally never receive.
The program also gives CCF staff a critical opportunity to talk with the children's parents, to get to know the family's hardships and find out whether they would be eligible for any other CCF help packages. We also provide families with stipends and rice allowances to help balance the loss of income their children would normally earn if they were scavenging in the dumps or on the streets.
At 5 o'clock in the afternoon, after lessons are finished and the children have gobbled up their last snack, they leave the Community Centre and head home. While their days are spent at CCF, all these children still live with their families and go home at night to their huts in urban villages on the fringe of the old Steung Meanchey dump.