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Disadvantaged kids get what they deserve

| Words by Zoe Crane |

In Siem Reap, Cambodia, an exceptional NGO treats local children from challenging backgrounds to a very special end of year gala!

The end of the year can be a time of indulgence and overindulgence, but not for everyone. For 200 disadvantaged kids around Siem Reap there was not a lot to look forward to. But these very special kids deserved a very special treat, and on the 30th of December they got just that. When they heard they were going to an end of year party at the circus, their faces lit up. What was even more exciting was that they would get the chance to perform in front of an audience.

Insider Journeys, along with Shinta Mani Hotel and Phare, The Cambodian Circus sponsored an end of year gala for the kids from Green Gecko, Build Your Future Today and Grace House. These non-governmental organisations care for and educate disadvantaged children, many of them former street kids, and also provide healthcare and education to their families. All three focus on providing opportunities to help individuals become self-sufficient and break the cycle of poverty. Travel Indochina is currently working with Build Your Future Today on a project called Books for Cambodia. The circus itself provides further training and income for students of the circus school, just one of the educational institutes set up by Phare for disadvantaged  children.

Kids performingThe Build Your Future Today kids performing.

On the day, each child was given a goodie-bag before getting the chance to perform for each other and the large audience of well-wishers. The kids from Build Your Future Today sang on a stage resplendent with flags from around the world and the Green Gecko children entertained with their own rendition of the international hit song, Gangnam Style. Grace House concluded the show with two numbers, including juggling and cup-drumming. The Insider Journeys team from our Siem Reap office was there, and reported that the kids brought the house down!

Gangnam Style by the kidsGangnam Style by the kids at Green Gecko

Grace House performsGrace House performs for the audience

The main event followed – the Phare circus performers. The show was a roller-coaster of emotions. The uncontrollable giggles from the comic performance were replaced by awe, as the entire cast of Phare’s current show The Adventure performed dazzling feats that included juggling, acrobatics and tumbling, culminating with one daring performer being tossed to the top of a human pyramid.

One Phare Circus performerOne Phare Circus performer makes the children laugh

The children left elated after their 15 minutes of fame. With an audience made up of some of Cambodia’s most disadvantaged, the show provided both entertainment and a glimpse of the life beyond the care of local NGOs or the streets.

Travel Indochina is proud to be involved in many community projects throughout Asia. For this gala event we provided transport on the day and co-sponsored the goodie-bags.