Friends-International has just been presented with the prestigious Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship at a ceremony in Oxford. The award comes with a three-year, $1,015,000 funding grant which will allow Friends- International to strengthen and extend its services to provide direct quality services to at least 500,000 more street children by reinforcing and expanding its projects in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Honduras, as well as developing new projects in Vietnam, Yunnan (China), Malaysia, Mexico and countries in the Caribbean and Africa.
This new work, by a Khmer American woman born in April 1975, just as her country was plunged into the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime, is not another first person narrative of the events of that time. Rather, it is a narrative of a personal journey exploring the legacy of being ethnic Cambodian in the aftermath of Pol Pot, of living with the stories of war that live as a "disorderly chaos churning in my head." Ms. Phim is not the daughter of urban elites banished to the countryside as "new" people, as all of those to publish first person accounts have been to date.
Although there is no sign in English, the telltale bamboo steamer baskets in the pristine kitchen front of house immediately alert dim sum fans to the delicious possibility of steamed dumplings, and in fact Beijing Ta Thang Khouv serves little else.
This new dumpling establishment owned by true Beijing expatriates and staffed by Cambodians has been open just a few weeks, but it already has a dedicated clientele of Chinese according to staff, although they also admitted these devotees were not yet arriving in droves, but rather dribs and drabs.
Sandwiched between the smiling faces of Cambodian music icons Sin Sisamouth and Ros Serey Sothea, the lithe body of US evergreen Madonna and reams of K-pop from South Korea, a darker music has returned to the shelves of many of the capital's prolific bootleg CD shops.
Khmer Rouge propaganda anthems are back in vogue, and according to vendors they are selling well as the 56-million dollar joint UN-Cambodian trial of former leaders of the Khmer Rouge's Democratic Kampuchea regime prepares to get underway.
The first thing most people notice about organically produced food is the taste. Rich red organic tomatoes which can scent whole salads with their fragrance, carrots so sweet they might have been dipped in honey, chicken which adds a depth to soups and stews that its larger steroid-laden counterparts could never match. Consumers notice the difference.
The Mekong River Swim draws enthusiasts from around the world who make a pilgrimage to the Prek Leap Agricultural College just to conquer the mighty Mekong river. All in good fun but with plenty of prizes and a myriad of smiling faces, the Mekong River Swim has become increasingly popular since it's humble beginnings back in 1995.
The 12th Annual Mekong River Swim will be held on Sunday, April 8th at the Prek Leap Agricultural College.