A theraputic and medical outreach program for children with disabilities and medical needs in Cambodia.
Safe Haven is a registered organization with the Royal Government of Cambodia

Our Team

Heather HeadshotHeather E. Connell

Founder/Executive Director

“In 2009, I met a remarkable little boy named Sumnamg while working on a media project in Siem Reap. Sumnamg had Cerebral Palsy and was confined to a bed, unable to move on his own or communicate his needs. The idea for Safe Haven was inspired by my relationship with Sumnamg and a desire to be able to provide him access to the medical and therapeutic resources he needed to improve his quality of life. I’m so thankful for my dedicated staff who have worked to help build Safe Haven Medical Outreach from the ground up. We are a small non profit, but we believe we can have a big impact in the lives of our kids and their families. Keeping families together and working with parents to help educate them about their child’s condition and make them active participants in their therapy/care is a huge part of the work that we do. I’m inspired and amazed by our Safe Haven kids and grateful to be able to oversee this project as we continue to grow as an organization.”

Jess headshot 2Jessica Whitney

In Country Director/Nursing Supervisor

“It has been a pleasure and a challenge to take on the role of Safe Haven Country Director in early 2014. As an organization, we have grown and matured, with clearer-than-ever goals for children and families and more collaborative and coordinated strategies for meeting those goals. Staff skills continue to develop in their areas of concentration, such as social work and physiotherapy, and we have also focused on expanding their skills in the areas of child development, communication, and understanding of early intervention. I am immensely proud of Safe Haven’s development as an organization, and staff’s dedication to the families we serve.

I know that many children have now had medical care and intervention (including surgery) who would not have without Safe Haven’s help. More families have access to clean drinking water – which is such a basic need in terms of preventing many illnesses. More children have seen a doctor and/or dentist, are taking medications safely and appropriately, are getting vitamins and supplemental nutrition; more parents understand their child’s health problems, and more families are using toothbrushes. Maybe just as importantly, more families are no longer alone and feeling helpless about their child’s medical condition, as they know that Safe Haven is their ally and advocate in getting the best possible care for their children.”

Yos Pheakdey HeadshotYos Pheakdey

Senior Physiotherapist

“I took the position as physiotherapist with Safe Haven so I could gain more experience working with children with disabilities. Using physical therapy helps to strengthen their bodies and make them healthier. Safe Haven provides many opportunities to children that they did not have before. Prior to Safe Haven, I worked as a physiotherapist with Handicap International for seven years.”

Pheary headshotLuy Sopheary

Senior Interventionist

“My name is Sopheary and I am working for Safe Haven as Interventionist. I really like and so happy to do that because my job is amazing, my work teach me how to help them with physical therapy and occupational therapy and I can see our children progress and see the happiness in their family. It’s a great job that I can help children with disabilities in my country to encourage them and tell them that I love them, they’re not alone anymore.

I don’t have money or other things to donate to my organization, but I can donate my hard work, my love, my heart. I want to help them improve the future of children.

I love my work so much and I hope can work for Safe Haven for long time.”

Leakna headshotChon Leakna

Senior Nurse

I studied to be a nurse and midwife, and after I graduated, I worked as a school nurse in a preschool and primary school for two years. I came to work at Safe Haven because I’m ready for a new experience.

My job with children with disabilities is very interesting to me because it is my first time to do this kind of work and I am learning a lot about disabilities. I will use all my experience and knowledge to help these children and their families to be healthy. I will educate them about health and hygiene because I believe that education is the key to change.

Kosal headshotSov Kosal

Senior Social Worker

I graduated from Cambodia University Specialty (CUS) in 2005 on Management of Business Administration degree. After graduation, I worked for Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) 2 years as working on non-formal education projects in Kampong Thom, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap Province. I worked as a social worker with Kalyan Mith nearly one year helping to reintegrate children with their families, get them back into school and provide vocational support training to the families. I really feel proud to work with families with kids with disabilities. I am happy to help educate the family understand about rights for children with disability and encourage the family to nurture a positive child.

Kathy-HeadshotKathy Clark

Pediatric Physiotherapist/Consultant

It was love at first sight with Safe Haven- the staff, their work, their compassion. I am an American pediatric physiotherapist with 30 years of experience and from the beginning, it was clear that Safe Haven was providing best practice in physical therapy- services that are family centered, functional and meaningful to the child, with strong communication, collaboration and planning- and the success and progress is evident.

As part of my role in leading Boston Biopharma’s Corporate and Social Responsibility division, I am honored to provide regular volunteer physical therapy consultation in the form of teaching, training, coaching and mentoring to the staff of Safe Haven.

Chamroeun headshot.jpgSay Chamreoun

Junior Nurse

Safe Haven is my first job. I have just graduated with degree Faculty of Public Health major in Nursing at Angkor University. I was intern at Siem Reap Provincial Hospital for three months. I also interned at Handicap International where I focused on Mother and Child health. I want to help parents look after and understand their children with disabilities, provide care, and good hygiene. I really love my position as Junior Nurse and I expect to work for Safe Haven for a long time.

Long-HeadshotChhut Long

Junior Social Worker

I graduated from Cambodia university specialty in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree. After graduation, I worked for the ABC and RICE school in Siem Reap province as social worker. I love to work as a social worker very much ,especially working with children and poor people in communities and supporting families to send their children to school. I am so proud to help and serve children with disabilities and help families to understand that their children with disabilities can have the same rights, abilities and opportunity as the other children. I have been impacted by the work I do at Safe Haven and I hope to inspire others to change their concept of disabilities as well .

Phearom-HeadshotChea Phearom

Junior Interventionist

I have more than a decade of experience working with helping children with disabilities and their families in the community. I am so glad that I work with Safe Haven because Safe Haven provides many opportunities to the children with disabilities: they are healthier and supported. We teach them how to play, how to communicate, provide hygiene education, we try to get children ready to go to school if possible and help all to lead a happy and independent life.

Bopha headshotVeng Pich Bopha

Office Administrator

My name is Bopha, my dream is to do something to help the people. I worked as a Cashier and Service for the hotel and restaurant for 7 years. I started to feel that my work is just for work it didn’t make me feel giving help to the people. Thanks to Safe Haven Organization that offer me a chance to work. I help the operation of the organization financial, documents of the organization involved with the government law and all of the documents for Safe Haven operation. I have learned a lot from my team to support and provide help to disability children and family. Seeing those people smile by our activity is what makes me so proud. I will use all of my knowledge and skill to educate people to understand that Love and Sharing is a really important part of life.

Team-Photo