Following a HIV outbreak in Battambang let year where 277 people allegedly contracted the virus after an unlicensed doctor re-used syringes, there has been a crackdown in the health sector. More than 200 illegal dental clinics have been closed in the capital of Cambodia this year alone by the Phnom Penh Municipal Health Department. The dentists at these clinics did not hold any dentist certificates or possess any technical skills, instead having been handed the reigns by their parents. [read more]


A CROWDFUNDING campaign is underway to provide education for children in Cambodia, say Charlie Salter and Rose Kumar, treasurers of the Human and Hope Association (HHA). Charlie says that Elephants for Education aims to raise $15,000 by September 7 through the sale of handmade stuffed elephants, which would fund next year’s education program for 150 schoolchildren. [read more]


Most people would not be happy about losing their jobs, but Sally Hetherington is thrilled to be leaving her position at Human and Hope Association in Cambodia. This is because after four years, the education provider is now entirely locally run. [read more]


You live in a developed wealthy country, surrounded by all sorts of comforts, you can afford traveling when on holiday, you feel lucky and accomplished and all you want to do is helping the poor you see in Cambodia in any way you can, be it giving to beggars or doing voluntourism. Stop for one minute and think. Are you really helping the needy or are you just trying to feel good and give yourself peace of mind? [read more]


When Saney was in her early 20’s, she dreamed of being a seamstress. However, for someone living in poverty and only having enough food to eat twice a day, this dream was out of reach for her. Fast forward to when she was 28 years old, Saney’s neighbour told her about a new sewing program at an NGO she had just graduated from. Eager to study, Saney asked her husband for permission. He said no. She asked again. He said no. She continued to persist until her husband eventually agreed for her to study in the year-long sewing program at Human and Hope Association in Siem Reap, Cambodia. [read more]

Chomrong, of Cambodia, was a struggling mother of three earning 88 cents per day until she was taught to sew.

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The Kingdom of Cambodia wins your heart with smiling faces, lotus blossoms, exotic flavors, and mystical temples. Every traveler seems to fall in love here.

But Cambodia also wounds your soul with its darker side. In the 1970s, a third of the population — especially the educated class — was obliterated by execution, torture, starvation, or illness under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. When the Vietnamese ousted the Khmer Rouge in 1979, the remaining Cambodian people emerged from work camps, weak and traumatized, with no possessions besides their clothing and a food bowl and faced a nation that needed to be rebuilt from scratch. [read more]

This month, after almost four years working for Human and Hope Association, a grassroots NGO in Siem Reap, Cambodia, I was made redundant.  This was a bittersweet redundancy, as I had been working myself out of a job since day one, with the goal of handing the organisation over to a local team who have overcome poverty themselves.

One way we were able to reach this milestone achievement was by disallowing foreign volunteers since 2013. Some people supported this decision, others didn’t. However, it is something my team and I completely stand by, and for that reason I have made it my mission to inform people about thinking carefully before they volunteer overseas. [read more]


Buying a ticket to see a Phare show instantly helps our mission to support the development of the circus artists and financially support the NGO School, Phare Ponleu Selpak which successfully transforms Cambodian’s youth’s lives through art and their social support services.

Of course, there are more ways Phare can help you be a ‘responsible traveller’ and doing a bit of souvenir and present shopping at Phare Boutique is one. The little shop not only helps Phare fine-arts students sell their work, but it offers a platform for other local artists, craftsmen and NGO’s to sell their wares. [read more]

Sometimes a good idea can bubble up from something as small as a hotel room bar of soap. That’s what happened when Samir Lakhani, a senior environmental studies major at the University of Pittsburgh, went to Cambodia last summer to build ponds for a commercial fish-raising project in rural villages and stumbled onto what could be a solution to that Southeast Asian nation’s historic and deadly hygiene problem. [read more]


I am 29 years old and in around a year I will be out of a job. Not because technology will replace me, but because a group of hard-working, passionate Cambodians will.

We all work at Human and Hope Association in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We are a grassroots organization that was founded by locals to address a lack of education in our commune. We have developed so much more since our early days, and now not only do we focus on education, we also provide vocational training and community support opportunities to locals. This is because if we expect children to come and learn, we need to make sure their parents have the chance to earn. Hence, a holistic approach to development is needed so we can empower whole families to break the poverty cycle. [read more]

It is not often someone is happy to be losing a job. But that is exactly how Novocastrian Sally Hetherington feels as she prepares to leave her position with Human and Hope Association in Cambodia. The 30-year-old, who grew up in Adamstown Heights and completed a Bachelor of Business degree at the University of Newcastle, has been based in Cambodia for the past five years. [read more]

I first met Chomrong in 2014. She was a student in the third intake of the sewing program at Human and Hope Association, a grassroots NGO in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Our team recruited her by venturing into her village four kilometres away from our community centre. Seeing the condition of her house, made from old wood, bamboo and palm leaves, they approached her to see if she wanted to study sewing. [read more]


With 1 in 4 Cambodians over the age of 15 being illiterate and 20% of Cambodians living under poverty, Human & Hope Association is working to educate, train and support marginalized villagers in order to reduce poverty and increase literacy. A new year is approaching – their 6th year of service – and they need your help!! They need to raise $15,000 in order to fund their education programs for 2017. Here’s where you come in – Each purchase of an Elephant {made by graduated sewing students from Human and Hope Association} is supporting women and their families with shelter, education and healthcare, as well as the education for over 150 Cambodian children.  [read more]


“I am so happy and hopeful for the future” said Chomrong when she graduated from our expert sewing class at Human and Hope Association in February 2015. A mother of three, Chomrong was forced to drop out of public school in grade eight due to poverty in her family. She began working as a builder, earning just 88 cents a day. She eventually got married and moved from her rural village to Siem Reap, home to the famous Angkor Wat.

Her husband was also a builder, but they didn’t earn enough money to feed their family properly. As a result, their children would fall sick often and they would be pushed further into poverty because of the hospital fees. [read more]


Human and Hope Association, a grassroots community centre in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is one organisation that is raising awareness about voluntourism. They are entirely run by a team of local Cambodians and are proving that Cambodians do have the skills, passion and knowledge to run not-for-profits without accepting voluntourists. Through their education, vocational training and community development programs, the team at Human and Hope Association are helping their villagers to break the cycle of poverty for good. [read more]