Case Studies

Cambodia Summer Project

In Mie Chei, the largest rubbish tip in Phnom Penh, hundreds of children scavenge for food and other items they need to survive. For many children, this is all they know, and they miss out on fundamental youth experiences such as attending school or simply having fun.


Pour Un Sourire D’Enfant (For A Child’s Smile) is a French organisation that helps these children by providing them with food, medical attention, board and education. Kesey and Pedro worked with this organisation, as well as other summer camps in Phnom Penh, to improve the lives of the children by helping them escape life in the tip.

Mission Statement

Kesey Sar and Pedro Alonso Caprile worked with children across Cambodia to provide them with educational and fun activities over the summer. Their goal was to encourage the children to attend school the following year, so that they would no longer have to work for a living under dangerous conditions.

How the Funding Was Used

  • £800 for travel
  • £200 for general living expenses

How They Made A Difference

Kesey and Pedro’s team organised activities for the Cambodian children to show them that there is more to life than working, especially in unhealthy and dangerous environments. These activities included: physical sports, creative arts and music.

This helped to encourage many of the children to attend school in the following year, setting them on the path to a higher standard of life. For many of the children who were involved in the activities, it was their first contact with formal education, and it served as a positive experience that would inspire them to go to school.

(The rubbish tip was subsequently closed down a few years later).

How The Project Made A Difference for the Volunteers

By working on this project, Kesey and Pedro were provided with insight into Cambodian society, and the struggles faced by many children in the community. Their mission was in line with UWC ideals, as they helped to make a change in the world and introduce the idea of education to children who would not otherwise consider enrolling in school.


Living and working in a challenging and difficult environment with children from a different culture will be of benefit to us all.