Kimsan is an intern for Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ office in Siem Reap, Cambodia. As a former Youth Leader, she had been supporting TdH-NL staff in the protection of children from sexual exploitation in the tourism sector and online.
Being in Siem Reap, the tourism sector had been one of the main causes of child exploitation cases before COVID-19. Learning about this case had encouraged Kimsan to be more involved with the organisation’s project called WATCH (Working Actively Together for Children).
She said, “What encourages me to work for children is because of love. Children could be seen as white paper and once the white paper is stained with black ink. it becomes dirty forever. However, if we draw a picture with something that colorful it - it becomes more beautiful. So it is the same case with children, if we pay more attention to the children since the day they were born, they could be the future of this society. They are going to prosper in this society”.
Being able to achieve a better future is not as easy it seems in Kimsan’s community. “There are a few issues that happen in my community. Children drop out of school because of financial issues in the family. Family members face illnesses that require treatment, which leads to lack of income. The other issue is about needing to work abroad. They think that working abroad could earn them enough income to support a family”, Kimsan said.
The WATCH project aimed to spread awareness about sexual exploitation in the country. With the help of children and youth such as Kimsan through networks of child clubs and schools, many of them are learning about these issues from their peers.
Kimsan sees more opportunities, “There should be some changes in my community. I wish that the local authority/chief village would collaborate with other organizations, especially TdH to protect and protect children in the community”.
As a young professional supporting TdH’s team in the field, she hopes for a better future. Kimsan said, “In the future, I hope that there will be enough job opportunities for everyone so they don’t have to move to neighbouring countries and look for jobs. I hope to see more schools for children so that they can easily continue their education”.