Safe Haven Children's Trust - UK Registered Charity 1130753
+44 (0)7702 887957

Welcome to Safe Haven Children's Trust.

About Safe Haven

Safe Haven Children’s Trust aim to prevent the abandonment, institutionalisation and exploitation of children in Cambodia. We promote and support optimum childhood development ensuring the new generation of Cambodia is given best possible chance.

We believe that by helping parents to access the support they need, we can avoid unnecessary abandonment. We give children a safe environment where they can access education, healthcare and the food they need to grow healthily. Thanks to the support of our donors and supporters, we have helped 700 beneficiaries to date. And this is just the beginning…


Why Cambodia?

In Cambodia, orphanages have become the most prevalent response to poverty and social exclusion: since 2005 there has been a there has been a 65% increase in numbers of private orphanages, and there are currently 258 orphanages in the country. However, it is estimated that over three quarters of the children in orphanages still have at least one surviving parent. These “orphanages” are in many cases effectively boarding schools, where children visit their family regularly. Poverty and lack of education means desperate parents think that such “orphanages” provide the best start for their child. Moreover, even where parents intend an orphanage to provide short-term care only, the reality of poverty, and the difficulty of travelling to visit children in institutions which are often miles away from the child’s home means that families are often broken apart.

FAMILY & COMMUNITY

There simply no substitute for the loving care provided by families and communities. Many orphanages in Cambodia have no child protection policies. Children suffer where there are no background checks on staff and volunteers. This is a particular problem in the orphanages which effectively allow “open access” to tourists, who are allowed to come and play with children.

ORPHANAGE TOURISM

Children are treated as tourist attractions, and required to “earn their keep” by farming, or performing for tourists, often late into the night. Further, the success of such shows and visits in encouraging donations has led to some centres’ feeling that there is a demand for “orphans”, causing children to be unnecessarily separated from their families. These children are exploited by the very centres who are supposed to care for them.

EARLY YEARS FOCUS

There are of course many institutions with good intentions. However, their resources are stretched, and low staff: children ratios mean that children often do not receive the care and attention that they need to develop. There is therefore a real demand in Cambodia for more family centred care. Further, many of the existing institutions do not care for babies. Our work is therefore aimed at children aged between 0-5.

MLOP CHILDREN’S CENTRE

In 2009, we co-founded Mlop Children’s Centre, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and worked in close partnership with them ever since to build and fund a safe place for children both for abandoned and orphaned children as well as local children in need.

During this partnership we delivered over 3500 daycare sessions (with 30-60 children attending each one), over 5000 community outreach visits, provided over 200,000 meals and healthy snacks, prevented the abandonment of over 100 children and reintegrated 100% of the children who came into our residential ‘Crisis Care’ programme, reuniting 85% of those with their own biological family.

We have provided early years education, clothing and school uniforms, first aid, medical and dental checks and treatment, community events and parent support workshops.

The Future

We are delighted to say that Mlop became autonomous in 2018, and they continue their amazing work. We receive regular updates about the projects, and about the children. Recently the Mlop team have been to visit Bella – one of the children we reintegrated during our partnership.

We are delighted to hear how well she is doing, she is happy and healthy and loving school! Some of the other children who were once in Crisis Care (and are now reintegrated) went along with the staff for the monitoring visit and were reunited with their friend.

Annual Reports & Accounts

Safe Haven Children’s Trust believes in transparency in all that we do. Please find copies of our recent accounts and annual reports below.

Get in Touch

96 Brondesbury Villas 
London, NW6 6AD
United Kingdom 

Phone: +44 (0)7702 887957

Email: info@safehavencambodia.org

Contact us