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22 Feb 2002

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Terminator 2. The opening scene shows a war-ravaged earth where humans scavenge for a living in what looks like a gigantic rubbish tip. We visited it today. There were no robots shooting at us, but the rest looked the same - dusty, desolate, small fires here and there and little groups of people shuffling about sifting through the garbage looking for recyclable materials to collect and resell. This is how 300+ families make their living at Stung Meanchey, a whole community living literally in the tip. Most kids don't go to school, so World Vision have set up a small centre nearby where they can go to use the library or attend non-formal education classes. Other activities aim to help the children develop life skills and to earn a better living selling cakes (bake in the centre) and coke in the city, whilst a micro-credit scheme helps families purchase household essentials or even complete houses. Everything is aimed at helping the kids and families lift themselves above the poverty line in a sustainable and dignified manner, whilst respecting their way of life and past achievements. Many thanks to Sarah for her donation and the opportunity it has afforded us to see another side of life in Cambodia.