BSDA – Buddhism and Society Development Association, Kampong Cham, Cambodia, is supporting the poorest of the poor, especially focusing its efforts on reaching the truly impoverished, street children, orphans and vagabonds and educating them on important life issues, violence prevention and social and Buddhist morality in Cambodia, which is also stretching into the educational programs made available for teenagers and adults. BSDA offers language training, computer training and other educational opportunities, as well as support for personality development and is involved in urgent social- and community projects. It is engaged in issues concerning HIV/AIDS, reduction of drug abuse/addiction, drug-trafficking and -use by humans, especially children and women and strengthening awareness and prevention.
Further goals are promoting positive thinking about good health, educating moral in the society and Buddhism, vocational training, rehabilitation as well as reinforcing democracy and human rights.
BSDA has been founded as a non-Government and non-profit Organization by Buddhist monks and is also managed by them. Staff and volunteer members complement the team. It is located at the historical temple site of Wat Nokor, close to Kampong Cham, approx. 120 Kilometers North-East of Phnom Penh. BSDA has been permitted and acknowledged by the government of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia. Cambodia has one of the lowest human development performances in the region, due to it’s legacy of human suffering and devastation by the Khmer Rouge. Over one third the population lives below the basic needs national poverty line, with rural households accounting for almost 90% of the poor. Communicable diseases dominate all age groups accounting for 83% of all disease burden.
Over 10% of the population is below the minimum level of dietary energy consumption. Nearly half of all Cambodian children are malnourished, and one in eight dies before their fifth birthday, largely due to preventable causes. The exceptional situation of children in Cambodia due to a long period of war and genocide, isolation and chaos has made life difficult for those most vulnerable.
The population of homeless people, especially children, is -also for this region- exceptionally high. This is due to problems within or the breakdown of a family, poverty and becoming orphaned caused by numerous diseases. Furthermore, the return of Cambodian refugees is increasing this particular problem. Street children and their families are vulnerable in any country. In Cambodia, they are the tragic evidence of the country’s recent dramatic history and the uneven development of the economy, political system and capacities to respond to basic human needs.
The mostly unaffordable cost of a public education hinders many families to send their children to school. Those children who still maintain regular family ties are mostly forced to work in order to support their families. In addition to the children who have cut their ties to the family completely, there is a multiple number of Street Children who spend most of their time on the street and return to their families regularly or only irregularly. This part of the population is naturally a prime target for prostitution, trafficking, drugs or sexual violence.
It is of vital importance, especially in today’s rapidly changing world, that children can base their future on adequate education and that they are kept away from the dangers of a street life. Life is further made difficult by poor crop yield in addition to continuous warfare and banditry in some regions or numerous landmines, which prevent farmers from growing rice. BSDA – tackling difficult tasks in a most difficult environment. To reach its goals, BSDA naturally depends on help and financial backing from outside.
The website has been created to support the activities of BSDA, make the organization better know around the world and to promote the acquisition of urgently needed human, material and financial support. BSDA is exceptionally grateful for all kind of help and donations supporting it’s work.