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!
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