The Elma Orphanage / CRC Project

On a visit to Cambodia in 2008 Jacqui met with an ethical orphanage director Soueng Man (known as Man).

Man’s orphanage (Children’s Relief Centre) has a long history of facilitating the most ethical adoptions in the country. The welcome reform in Cambodian adoption law (bringing it in line with the Hague Convention) has meant that most western countries have put adoptions on hold. This means that less money is being donated to orphanages from the ethical facilitation of adoptions.

We have agreed that ELMA Trust will partner Man in the funding and management of the CRC (to be renamed as the ELMA/CRC) so that he can concentrate on the farming initiative that he is developing in order to subsidise the orphanage.

The aim and objective of the ELMA/CRC is to provide on-going care to orphans who will never be adopted. This will include older, recently orphaned children who are living on the streets after the demise of both parents.

Stricter regulations means that once children get to a certain age (8 years old) they can no longer be adopted. Fewer adoptions mean that children reach this age having been in the orphanage since birth.

At present we have 10 children between the ages of 8 and 14 years. They all attend the attend the NEWTON THILAY private school in Phnom Penh. The ELMA Trust pays their fees and buys their uniforms and school equipment.

As they grow older they will either study for further education or vocational training.

All children have personal sponsors who send letters and birthday gifts.   The children are encouraged to write and/or email their sponsors with updates of their progress.