Our mission at Golden Children is to create an environment that provides a safe, nurturing home where orphaned and abandoned children can develop – physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually – to their fullest potential.
Golden Children operates the Sovann Komar’s Children’s Village in Cambodia, providing orphaned and abandoned children with a single family home in a village environment where the children have:
- Committed Cambodian parents
- Good housing and nutrition
- Quality education
- Skilled health care.
Most importantly, the children are surrounded by a loving community that teaches them good citizenship by modeling ethics, participatory decision-making, environmental protection, and community service.
Comments by Elizabeth Ross Johnson, President and Founder, at an October 22, 2010 Fundraising Event for Golden Children
In 2002, I took a trip to Cambodia with some of my good friends. We were expecting what most visitors to the country expect: an impoverished nation, but one of immense beauty and culture.
This was certainly the case, but I admit that we could not have been prepared for how much devastation and lack of infrastructure still remained from the brutal and genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge.
One of the most disheartening problems was the horrendous number of abandoned infants in both the slums and orphanages. When the American border was closed to adoptions, the Cambodian government had little incentive to care for this overflow of children.
To make matters worse, many in Cambodia take the view that these children are responsible for their present circumstances because they must have done something terrible in their past life.
As a mother of four at the time, this idea that these children had brought such a life upon themselves was the last straw for me. Luckily I met a man on this trip who felt the same way.
Sothea Arun, a compassionate and proactive Cambodian citizen, was already running an amazing number of free outreach schools for women and children. We became friends immediately. We both felt that we could do something to help these children and we set upon figuring out how to do that.
We learned as we went. But what was clear from the start was that we both believed in the possibility of change. What if these children could be brought up without corruption? What if we could give them a good education, a strong set of values, and all the love they had been denied but were so deserving of? What if we could give them everything they needed to be healthy, productive citizens of Cambodia?
Lofty goals, yes. But if we can succeed even partially, we will be giving these children a chance to make their own way in the world.