Cambodia

Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia and is eight times the size of Wales. Cambodia is a flat, forested land. Tropical forests cover much of the country, but there are also miles of grasslands and rice paddies. Most of the people living in Cambodia are farmers; many rice framers. Rice is grown on rice paddies. Paddies are different from most other crop fields because they are flooded with 2 to 4 inches of water for most of the growing season. 

People from Cambodia are called Cambodians or KampucheaKhmer is the official language. Most Cambodians are Buddhist (93%), but there is a very small group (0.5%) of Christian Catholics in the country too. Some Catholic children belong to Holy Childhood groups, like Jabali who we’ll hear from soon. In Cambodia Mission Together is known as Holy Childhood.

‘Hi, my name is Jabali, I am 10 years old. My father is a Catholic and my mother is a Buddhist. My house is near the church. In the evening, I come to play in front of the church with my friends. I join in Holy Childhood youth activities at church and have fun. As well as playing games at the meetings I also learn about Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. I have not yet been baptised but my Aunt Somboon invites me to become baptised soon.’ 

Many Cambodians live with members of their extended families. Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins may live in the same home. The extended families often work together as well. Almost 80 percent of Cambodians live in the countryside, where sadly there are few jobs. Because of this many poor Cambodians must move to cities to find work. This is difficult for all members of the family.

For many years, children in England and Wales have prayed and shared to help children in Cambodia. With the money they raise, Sister Eulie makes sure children who move into the capital city, Phnom Penh, are welcomed. Sr Eulie helps the children to go to school, makes sure they are safe, and enjoy a healthy meal. Watch this short film to find out more.