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WHY M’LUP RUSSEY?

Approximately 30.1% of Cambodia’s population lives below the poverty line (according to the World Bank 2009).  Most of the households interviewed for this study are living in poverty.  Cambodia lacks a social welfare network to support needy families.  Often orphanages fulfills this gap.  Poor families explain that they want to give their children the best but can not always provide them with food and education.  While many socio-economic factors, such as divorced parents, new spouses, single mothers, orphans, and alcohol abuse, are factors contributing to the delivery of children to the shelters.  However, the biggest contributing factors is education.  In a survey conducted with The Best Intentions found that 91.9% of family members fully agree that poor families should send their children to orphanages to get an education if they are not able to pay for their children’s education directly.  Among poor families, the cost of primary education costs about 26.5% of all other expenses other than food (World Bank, 2005).  Faced with this testimony, families interviewed with The Best Intentions have chosen to send their children to the orphanage.  Hoping that the center will provide away from poverty to a better life.  The Ministry of Health data lists that over the past five years, 45% of children living in the orphanages have been sent to orphanages for reasons of poverty.  Foreigners play an important role in creating and sustaining child care facilities in Cambodia. The main reason is that they have good intentions and hope to experience a new challenge.  As foreigners are known to donate money, the orphanage has begun to accumulate a lot of funds from the “orphanage” tourism.  This puts a burden on the children, and at worst, they put them at risk. In some cases, orphanage homes are being used to raise money in a way that starts to become a business.  Tourism generates frequently monetized funds, so it is prone to corruption.  In addition, the amount of money raised in this manner can not be trusted, as some tourists may change their minds.  There is no contract or binding obligations, and often fail to fulfill their promises. For this reason, many orphanage homes can not follow their long-term plan. Funding insecurity causes children to be in danger, sometimes their basic needs are not met and children face uncertain future.