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“These kids are proud of what they do”

Traditional Khmer Dance at ACODO Orphanage
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
New Zealand
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“These kids are proud of what they do”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2013

The nightly concerts of the Acodo children are a pleasure to watch. It is unfortunate that ill-informed negative commentary can be so damaging to some of Cambodia’s most vulnerable children. Anyone who has spent any time at Acodo Orphanage will testify to the enjoyment these children take in performing in their nightly concerts and to the dedication of those who care for them. Donations from the concert are the lifeblood of the orphanage. In a country where corruption is part of everyday life, the work of this orphanage is as honest as anyone could hope for. The people who manage the orphanage and care for the children absolutely have their best interests at heart. The children are aware of and hurt by some of the negativity that has been written about their concerts on Tripadvisor, but as the most powerless of those involved, are unable to say anything in their own defence. Here are some of the facts:
The same children do NOT perform every night. The children are divided into groups and take turns.The children take great pleasure in their culture and performance of traditional Cambodian dance. Who would not want the opportunity to exchange grubby secondhand t-shirts for beautiful costumes and perform with grace and pride when the rest of life is such a struggle? As income from their farm enterprise grows, Acodo hopes to be less financially dependent on the concerts.
The children all attend school. Volunteers do not replace teachers, they supplement learning with classes in English language learning and conversation, life skills and computer training. Volunteers are valued and enrich opportunities for the children at the orphanage.
The orphanage has been granted land away from the river which will not be so prone to flooding. They have exciting plans for ways in which they could develop the land and become more self-sufficient. It may be a long time before it can possibly be a reality but good on them for daring to dream!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank MarGoNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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126 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Singapore
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Please do not support this organisation”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2013

Acodo offer a daily dance, plus their children practise for another hour each day and often travel to perform in other parts of Cambodia. That is unfair and you can see that in the children's eyes. ]

The tour starts by offering details of their projects. The pitch is informative but the detail is worrying. Staff costs at the orphanage are $56,000. That is a huge amount of money in Cambodia, but when I spoke to volunteers and children - they do not have any teachers except for volunteers. $1,000 a year would pay for a full time teacher, so I cannot comprehend why they do not have one, nor why their costs are so high.

All the other projects are presented beautifully, but reading the detail made little sense. A community project to teach Korean & Japanese to villagers. Only 32% of women and 46% of men (aged 15-49 years) complete primary education in Siem Reap province. Surely agriculture, sewing, plumbing would make more sense. Their farm project will soon include a swimming pool & hotels, but who would want to swim next to a fish farm, chicken pen and cow dung filled field? Again, the most significant costs for both were for staff and a "contingency fund". It was clear who the true beneficiaries of any donations were.

The dance itself was well performed, but I yearned to see more happiness on the children's faces. They truly looked sad and tired, and their living space cramped.

Sadly it is the children who will suffer if people chose not to suppose this immoral organisation. But surely that is a better solution than to encourage more businesses like this that exploit the ill-informed tourist into thinking they are doing good, and prey on vulnerable children to make themselves rich.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
29 Thank Ian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambodia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“SCAM: If you support this place, you are supporting child abuse”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2013

A new site has come out showing the scams which are happening in many Cambodian orphanages: orphanages.no - and this orphanage is one of the top offenders. I was recently contacted by a girl whose friend is raising tens of thousands for this orphanage, part of the claim being that the children needed childcare. When looking further, you can find that Angkor Hospital for Children, located very near this orphanage, has childcare for FREE for all children. I have witnessed the director of this orphanage threaten volunteers and children. Please do not support this place with your money.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
17 Thank SEAadventurer2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“zoo”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2013

Would you have strangers walking in the room of your kids to take some photographs?
Please start thinking before you "help"!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
18 Thank Tohamas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saigon
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Should be whats best for the kids - not what will get more money in”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2012

I have been - I do believe all children, orohans or abandoned should be supported, as it is none of their own doing. However, I cannot imagine these children are enjoying performing every night of the week. This should be one or twice a week and only if that is to give the children something to look forward to. These kids should not be performing every night.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
17 Thank Angela G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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