Since the atrocity of the Khmer Rouge Genocide, which decimated the population of Cambodia and destroyed its education, healthcare and economic systems, her people have struggled to overcome obstacles on the road to recovery. For children living in the villages, streets and city dumps, the issues of poverty and lack of access to proper healthcare and therapy, as well as the breakdown of the family unit, make survival is a daily challenge. For a child suffering from physical handicaps, those obstacles can be nearly insurmountable.
Whether orphaned, abandoned due to their condition, or living with poverty-stricken families that simply lack the resources to properly care for them, the outlook for these children is bleak. It is not an uncommon sight to see such children begging on the city streets, their bent and broken bodies used as a source of income for others. For those who have no mobility on their own, even when they are taken in by well meaning orphanages and shelters, their lives are limited to simply existing. With all of the problems facing Cambodia and her children, the resources, time and energy it takes to help handicap children reach their full potential simply do not exist.
Specialties we take for granted, such as speech and physical therapy, simply do not exist for these children. Sign Language for the deaf or speech impaired in their language (Khmer) has only developed in the last few years and is not yet universal for everyone. Often minor medical issues left treated at birth become life threatening.