Our main goal is to provide Cambodia’s young, HIV-positive population the opportunity to have a long and fulfilling life. This will be achieved by providing necessary health treatment, education and social care, which will also prevent the HIV virus from spreading further in Cambodia.
About Bright Hope Cambodia (BHC)
We are a non-governmental organization working from Phnom Penh, the heart of Cambodia. Our main goals are to provide social care, education and medicine for HIV affected children and youths, through our Group Home, Day-Care and Home Based Care and thereby create a safe environment.
At Bright Hope Cambodia we want to give these children a safe place where they won’t experience negativity or discrimination. Each and everyone of them is encouraged to think for themselves and believe in their abilities.
Education is the key for these children, and we see it as the key to enable them to improve their lives. Thus besides the general education every child receives at public or private school, we provide extra English classes, given by volunteers or at other NGO’s. This will help give them the best chance to succeed in life, especially in an increasingly competitive society.
After graduation from high school, we want to provide the right education based on the interests and talents of each individual child. We will work to get scholarships for the youth who are more talented in the academic field, and vocational/skills training for other students. The children will be involved in the process of selecting the most suitable option, it is their future, their decision.
Following this the now young adults will have the opportunity to find a job in their field of interest and can gradually start to live independently with the support of Bright Hope Cambodia. In the first 3 months the follow up will be strict and frequent, to ensure everything is going well; we can help resolve any issues and offer support where necessary. Support will lessen when we’re confident it’s no longer needed.
What we want to change
In Cambodia prejudice surrounding HIV is even more ingrained than in most Western societies. The lack of education about the virus, and sexual education in general, means that young boys and girls born with HIV are not given equal opportunities. This often means children are abandoned by their parents, through fear of their community finding out. The stigma surrounding the illness due to the lack of knowledge often means families feel they have very little choice but to put their children into care. In some cases families lack the money necessary to provide care and education. Although hospitals provide free medicine from the government, transportation costs to collect this can be more than some families can afford.
To decrease the HIV infected population in Cambodia effectively, these children need to be brought from the margins of society and guided into adulthood. We will aid them in becoming independent and building their own lives, decisions regarding marriage and pregnancies will need to be made, in cooperation with the hospital we want to give them guidance on how to prevent them from contracting the virus onto their children and partners.
Bright Hope Cambodia is a place for those affected by HIV, where they won’t be victims of discrimination. By starting small, in Phnom Penh and then spreading across Cambodia, we hope to challenge the stigma surrounding HIV.
The BHC team
Bright Hope Cambodia was founded to take care of vulnerable HIV transmitted children and youth. The founders of Bright Hope Cambodia are former Europeans, from Denmark and Italy, who decided to volunteer in Cambodia. The Program Director and the Executive Director of Bright Hope Cambodia are both local Khmer professionals. The Executive Director and the Program Director who leads our effort are deeply committed to our mission and, above all, to the children. They both have many years of experience in managing a Group Home and has dedicated themselves to the well-being and future of each and every child that is a part of our programs.