We found something quite unusual in Battambang, that filled us with both sadness and hope simultaneously.
Firstly I should probably say Battambang found us for a change- we received a request for shoes for the children of Battambang dump site from a German NGO called TKG.
We found that they already had a phase 2- a Child Support Centre that provided food, hygiene and education. As well as the wonderful edition of circus training at the weekends- providing trapeze and acrobatics training!
The project also has a second element of a composting business called Comped.
But what they didn’t have was shoes.
So we went to visit and we were met by a fantastic team, an interesting social enterprise of composting and extra curricular circus training and we were very impressed.
However here at Battambang the families live right on the dump site.
So together myself and the centre director, Sina, went to the dump to collect the names and sizes of all the scavenger adults and children to start our partnership with a phase 1 shoe distribution.
The distribution was a huge success, we had several different ‘steps’: washing area, salt foot and hand soak, medical, nail spa, socks, shoes, boots & snacks.
The children and babies were all so brave for their foot first aid and the mothers loved the nail spa.
There was a great feeling, where we tried to make the scavengers feel pampered and cared for and the whole event ended in a tea party which was all very civilised!
Now everyone on the dump has had their feet fixed and new shoes to protect them
on the dump site and we are looking at ways we do even more to help these children take small steps off the dump and into education.
To find out more about our new partners and the incredible work they do watch this short video.