Cambodia

The KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA is a country in Southeast Asia with a population of 15 million people, with Phnom Penh being the capital city. Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries.

A citizen of Cambodia is usually identified as Cambodian or Khmer, which strictly refers to ethnic Khmers. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction, but the country also has a substantial number of predominantly Muslim Cham, as well as ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese and small animist hill tribes.

The country shares a border with Thailand to its west and northwest, with Laos to its northeast, and with Vietnam to its east and southeast. In the south it faces the Gulf of Thailand. (source Wikipedia)

In April 1975 the Khmer Rouges captured Phnom Penh. They drove the population out of cities, towns and villages under a plan of ultra communist social engineering turning Cambodia into agricultural communes and forcing the entire population into labour camps.

Its four years of rule saw the destruction of cultural, social, economic and political life and the murder of between 1.2 and 1.7 million Cambodians (source the Yale Cambodian Genocide project) , by famine, arbitrary execution and forced labour, in what was to be one of the worst genocides of the 20th century.

With this legacy of devastation Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world.

In 2014 the annual gross national income, per person was a mere USD1010 a year, a rank of 167 out of 197 countries. The UN Human Development Index for Cambodia is 0.584 for 2013, a rank of 136 out of 187 countries (source UNDP) while in a Transparency International report on corruption Cambodia was rated at 156 of 175 countries making it one of the most corrupt countries on earth. (source Transparency International)

People lack access to proper health services and many families cannot afford to send their children to school. Dire poverty continues to affect people throughout Cambodia.

The need to help is significant and real.

No one made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Edmund Burke, Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)