A House of Support
The Sanskrit word “anjali” translates to “offerings” in English. Anjali House is a house of offerings for local children in need. In addition to ensuring the children are healthy and happy and providing them with both education and avenues for creative expression, they hope to offer our children skills and opportunities which will help them find success and fulfilment in the future.
At Anjali House they provide each child with free healthcare, food, clean drinking water and an education.
“They believe that no child should be forced to beg or work. They believe that they have the right to enjoy their childhood – to learn, play, make friends and grow in a safe and happy environment. These are basic rights that no child should be denied.”
The Anjali Philosophy
One of the key factors in the development of Cambodia, as in any country, is the education of their children. Education encourages independent and analytical thought, fosters self-confidence, and provides new opportunities. They hope that by providing this education, these children will be able to fully contribute to, and participate in, the future of their country.
They firmly believe in the value of providing children with the opportunity to access various forms of expression. Whether through art, sport, creative writing, dance or music, they aim to foster each and every child’s creativity. This creativity can be an important tool to encourage social interaction and educational development, as well as being a proven form of therapy for mental and physical disabilities.
Their ultimate goal for the children of Anjali House is to help them develop into healthy, well-adjusted young adults, equipped with the skills and support they need to enter the workforce and be successful in their future endeavors.
Anjali House is a sustainable and locally run organization. Their Director is Khmer, as are all their teachers and most of their key staff. Following the devastation and hardships of the last 50 years, they hope this process will empower their Khmer staff and offer them the chance to broaden their skills, by managing not only healthcare, education, and social work but also eventually fund-raising and communications.
Anjali House began life as a project of the Angkor Photo Association (a registered non-profit association in France – Reg No: W751202186), and Angkor Photography Festival Association in Cambodia (Reg No: 1391SPN). In 2005, a group of photographers got together to promote photography and highlight humanitarian issues in Southeast Asia. APA wanted to produce a regional photo festival but, in an area of so much deprivation, they also wanted to include some of the people who live in this remarkable and wonderful part of the world.
Anjali House began with a one-off dance troupe, lead by Sangeeta Isvaran, and a photography workshop initiated by Magnum photographer Antoine d’Agata. The children were encouraged away from the streets, and at the end of the week they performed their dance routine and exhibited their photographs to an international audience. With rapt applause they found a sense of empowerment, pride and personal achievement.
Galvanized by the difference that first week made, APA was inspired to further extend its help, and began to provide education and practical support to Siem Reap’s street children and engage with their parents.
The seeds of those efforts grew into the Anjali House of today. While close ties remain with the Angkor Photo Festival which provides annual photography workshops for their kids, Anjali House is now its own organization with its own leadership.See more