Children & Development Organization (CDO), known as CDO Family, a registered non-governmental organization (NGO), was founded on July 23rd, 2010, by Savorn ‘Mom’ Morn and her former husband Sakoeun to break the cycle of poverty at Leap Chass village, 40 kilometres north of Siem Reap, where the potential for malnutrition and disease, especially among children, was huge. With a minimum of financial support, they set up CDO to offer the children a home and education while helping the community to develop sustainably and lift itself out of poverty. The CDO Family Home Project (in Siem Reap) and the Community Village Project (at Leap Chass) run in tandem, with CDO, responsible for the welfare of 20 children from the village, who would otherwise have few prospects. They are fed, housed, clothed and have access to government schools, social activities – including sports – in Siem Reap and access to the skills brought to by volunteers. CDO is not an orphanage, but it provides a loving, family environment where the children treat each other as brothers and sisters. The village project helps their families to maintain a more productive lifestyle, facilitating programs to provide clean water and basic healthcare.
A small school has been established at Leap Chass, for younger children, with help from sponsors and a small amount of government funding – but there are few resources.
Leap Chass is about one hour in a truck over rough roads – sometimes impassable in the rainy season from Siem Reap. There are about 120 families living there in small, traditional thatched huts. Clean water, food, adequate housing and clothing, at times, are very scarce, and the lack of good roads and transport makes finding paid work very difficult. In order to survive, the villagers go hunting in the forest and collect any edible plants, fruits and vegetables, with the men often travelling to Thailand to work.
While CDO cannot house all the village children in Siem Reap, it hopes to increase numbers when fully established at its new site.
At CDO our first priority will always be the care and education of the children, but we also promote the care of villagers at Leap Chass.
With little access to education, future chances for improvement at the village are few.
CDO Family and Community are governed by strict Codes of Practice for volunteers, visitors and staff. These include our Child Protection Policy, which you can view below.