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On a visit to Cambodia in 2002 photographer Bill Smith was taken by a driver to the see the Phnom Penh Municipal Garbage Dump. This dump, located 20 miles outside the capital, was next to a village called Stung Meanchey. It was at this large garbage dump that Smith witnessed the horrible sight of hundreds of children digging through scraps for anything that could be sold. The children would go to the dump in the morning and not leave until the evening hours. They sifted through toxic trash and waded through dirty water to try and earn $10 a month that would help sustain their families.
The parents of the children had a lifespan of about 40 forty years due to working in the dump and being contaminated by toxins which would lead to TB, lung cancer and other diseases.
Smith and his wife Lauren, were shocked and decided to return to the dump and try and help at least one of these doomed children. They ended up sponsoring one child and then another and then another. Smith, his wife and friend Joe O’Neil soon formulated what would become A New Day Cambodia, a non-profit organization providing shelter, food and education to Cambodia’s garbage dump scavenger children.
Today, A New Day Cambodia (ANDC) has opened two centers that house over 100 children. The children go to school from 7am to 5pm six days a week. There are 14 full time staffers along with numerous volunteers that help teach English, geography, photography, and many other classes. The children receive medical care and meals along with exercise and athletic programs.
Please visit www.anewdaycambodia.org where you can see photographs and learn more about this extremely beneficial organization.