Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Portrait of an Orphan

I met this young orphan boy at the perimeter of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I think his vacant and blank gaze tells us a lot about the difficult life he leads.

Orphans are found in many of the poor and underprivileged Third World countries but Cambodia has a significantly high proportion of orphans and abandoned children. This disproportionate number of orphaned children is a result of around thirty years of war, foreign occupation, civil war and the infamous Khmer Rouge Regime which had some dramatic and deadly effects on the people of Cambodia.  In addition to the brutal events during those dark days one of the current ongoing problems is the continuing effect of land-mines on victims and the healing and rehabilitation of Cambodians who have suffered through land-mine incidents. Cambodia is a country with one of the highest occurrences of death by land-mines. In addition, deadly diseases such as AIDS, coupled with the scarcity of health care resources, compounds these problems into leading causes of death which all contribute greatly to the increasing orphan population in Cambodia.

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