About forty kilometers south of the capital Phnom Penh is the commune of Champei, in the province of Takeo. More than 6,000 people live in seven villages. More than half of the children are under 21 years of age. The inhabitants live in a traditional way under primitive conditions. They have little water and often no electricity. We are working on several projects in this area.

Different activities in Takeo

In 2009 we built the first bamboo and palm leaf school in Praek (Takeo), next to our volunteer house. Here we gave English lessons to children in a playful way. That turned out to be a great success, after which we placed a second building. In the nearby village of Muen Protchan, we built a third bamboo school in 2012, so that the village had its own classroom and the children no longer had to go to school in Praek. Unfortunately, the durability of these buildings is not very long. In addition, free-ranging turkeys also found it a lovely place to spend the night. In recent years, repairs have been carried out and improvements have been made, such as corrugated iron roofs, chicken wire in front of the windows and lockable doors.


English lessons

By providing free English lessons, we familiarize children with reading and speaking another language. Learning basic English offers the children more opportunities for further development. We still teach English in the late afternoon and evening. We regularly discuss topics such as hygiene and health care in a playful way, because these are rarely discussed in rural areas.

Water and sanitation

The number one priority was to improve water quality and ensure that there was enough water for everyone in the commune all year round. About 15% of babies in Champei died at birth. Main causes of this were infections, inflammation and associated abdominal complaints, often caused by parasites in the water around the rice fields. We also did our best to prevent Hepatitis B by educating about good hygiene.

Water quality

In collaboration with the population, we installed water pumps in various places. Unfortunately, the water often turned out to be of poor quality. Since November 2009 we have been working with the American organization Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to find solutions for clean drinking water. The soil was extensively examined and ground and surface water tests were carried out.

Water filters

The often unhealthy pump water made it impossible for many families to get clean water. Bottled water was unaffordable for most, so they had to rely on water from ditches and lakes. A simple solution was found in placing water filters in or near the houses. We have done a lot of this thanks to donations.



In order to improve the quality of the surface water in rice fields and ditches, we started installing simple toilets in 2010. Families build the toilets themselves, with materials that we supply. A contract stipulates when the toilet must be ready. If that is not possible, we will collect the materials again. This allows for more own initiative. Moreover, the materials are used for what they are intended for. More than three hundred toilets have already been built in Champei and we are continuing this work.

Volunteer house

With the tremendous help of donors, we were able to build a volunteer house in 2009. From there we coordinate our activities and this is also where our volunteers sleep. The house is opposite the restaurant of ‘mother’. This is the place where volunteers are spoiled with a sandwich and authentic Cambodian dishes during their stay.


Sewing project

Creating education and employment is a solution to get out of poverty. Starting training programs is a first step towards a better future. In order to create employment and give people the opportunity to generate income, we started offering sewing training in 2013. For example, young people did not have to work in large textile factories, but could work as self-employed in their own environment.


At the end of December 2012, a small building made of concrete, wood and palm leaf was erected. This sewing school was built on the main road, so that local people could also have their clothes made or repaired here. We set up the sewing class with donated fabrics and materials from the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the refurbished sewing machines did not withstand the climate and dusty environment for long. Stronger electrical machines have been purchased, which can also be repaired in Phnom Penh. The machines have been converted into treadle sewing machines, which also work in the event of a power failure.

Recognized certificate

The young people selected for this sewing project come from poor families. One of the first, very talented students is now our sewing teacher. Since the students are often indispensable workers, classes are only held from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM, but they can practice or work in the classroom in the afternoon. The first six-month courses, in which eight students each took part, yielded reasonable results. However, the students had not yet learned enough to be able to work independently. Since 2016 the course therefore lasts one year. Students can now obtain an officially recognized certificate. We also do our best to track and support graduate students.p>

New home

In 2018 a new accommodation was built for the sewing school. More durable and with a solid foundation, a steel construction, new tile floor and weather-resistant board plates, which provide better insulation.