Observations on motorbike accidents

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This is so far the correct and safer way to drive a motorbike. May Cambodians do it?

The Cambodian Motorbikes’ War still on, without any sign to decline. The victims keep the same profile: young men 15 to 25 years old, driving without helmet and many of them with alcohol in their blood at the moment of the incident. There are campaigns around the country on the media and boards along roads and streets, but nobody seems to care: people continue driving without helmet. During this weddings’ season, you can see young men drinking beer as water and after driving their motorbikes without any control. What can we do? Fines seem to work well, but it comes under a corruption network. At the end, people use a helmet only for fear to a police’s fine, but they don’t seem to connect the use of helmets to the protection of their own lives. In Colombia – where there are many traffic accidents too and also related with drunken drivers – the government established a new legislation that includes the removal of the drunken driver’s license and a fine of more than 500 US dollars… In consequence, traffic accidents caused by drunken guys reduced in 50% in the last three months! Continue reading

HIV Parade in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville. Mlop Tapang, an organization that leads programs for the protection of street children in the city port, celebrated the first HIV Parade from 24 to 26 of February to raise awareness about this sickness that has victimized thousands of Cambodians in the last decades, especially children and women. The parade included educational moments like the use of condom and the need of protection in the case of any sexual relation. Some organizations and companies joined the cause of Mlop Tapang like the Cambodian airports, Ezecom, Sovereing, ANZ Royal, Total Station, Coolabah Resort Hotel and Regent School Sihanoukville. Last Thursday the program began at 15:00 at the central market (Psah Leu) with the participation of the Mlop Tapang girls vocal center, circus, dance and perfomances of the children included in the project of the local NGO. There were also six children and youth bands like Sue, Lok Krus (teachers’), BTB, Epic Arts and Band Plus, among others. Friday the appointment was at the old bus station (now a growing gathering park). Saturday was the last day with a big motor parade cars of the male tranining center. Sihanoukville, the third more important city of Cambodia, became a prey of child sexual tourism in the last decade, a situation that attracted also several organizations like Mlop Tapang that has invested in children and families to protect, prevent and follow cases of child and women abuse. Other organizations in the city join the campaing to make the city port a safe place for children, youth and women, especially in education and prevention.

Report and photos by Chhin Sieng, Don Bosco News Agency

Please join campains to prevent children and women abuse in Cambodia.

Children are not ‘tourist destination’

If you notice anything suspicious in which a child could be a victim of sexual or labor abuse, do not hesitate to contact the authorities. The child cannot do it.

Child Abuse/Exploitation Police Hotline:
023-720555

Condom saves you… protect yourself, protect others…

Help a Cambodian child to guarantee his or her future… donate to Don Bosco Children Fund Sihanoukville

Planning a major event

Looking now for scapegoats of the Koh Pich tragedy will not lead to peace at all. If guilty, all of us. Education, prevention and social discipline are elements that do not come out from night to morning. We should remember that Cambodia is a developing country and that we are three decades away from the nightmare of brutality and violence. The Koh Pich tragedy is a historical and sad lesson, but we all should concentrate now in avoiding the next tragedy. To do so, we must work in the formation of a safe mentality that is in general lacking if we just see for example how people drive a car or a motorbike in Cambodia. How to plan a major event? Let’s see. Continue reading

The Occheuteal Pedestrian Beach opens

Sihanoukville – A kilometer pedestrian beach along Occheutel is the new feature in town this month. Works to complete it began early year and now it changes the face of the most popular beach in town. Continue reading

The Mother Teresa Film Festival in Cambodia

Phnom Penh. To close my Saturday evening I went to the Sorya Shopping Mall, that smart modern building just few meters at the south of the Central Market. The idea was to watch a movie. There was outside a music promotional concert and inside the mall plenty of fashion youth going up and down the escalators. I confess that there were not much attractive movies for me this time, but there was something out of common: the film of Mother Teresa. Continue reading

The prison of Siem Reap

I thought that the visit was going to be to a gloomy place. A prison is not properly the place you dream to be. However, countries must work to make it not a lovely place, but rather a real educational place. This morning I went with three teachers to visit the Siem Reap prison. Lichado promotes the idea that Don Bosco creates a technical program inside it as we have in the Sihanoukville’s prison. We got an appointment with the prison director at 8 AM. Going to the prison when most people are visiting the Angkorian temples is already very original in us. But we came to this country to open the way of hope for young people without hope. Continue reading

Official advises to visit Cambodia

I think trip advises can be relative and, in many occasions, they fall in the perception of every traveler. If you have a great experience, you will give the best scores to the country and you will recommend it to everyone who will ask you about Cambodia. If you have a bad experience, and it is likely possible to have one, then you will by sure say to everybody who intends to visit the country that it is a best idea to go elsewhere than Cambodia. But advises from persons who live in the country or have visited it, have more value than assumptions. Most of the people have ideas about countries like Cambodia according to the level of information exposure they get from the media. If they read reports about Cambodia as its troublesome history, its human rights situations, its difficulties with child and women abuse and so on, it can affect greatly the intention of a tourist visit. How can we get a more objective picture of the country? Let us try something. Continue reading

Talk to me about corruption

Too many foreigners use to talk about how corrupt is Cambodia (the 128th place in the CPI 2009). In fact, it is one of the most corrupt countries of the world. It is my humble opinion. I come from a country that is also considered one of the most corrupt (the 75th place in the CPI 2009). So far, the most transparent countries are the Nordics like Finland, Denmark and Iceland. Those countries are small and cold. Their standard of life is very high. I think they are not too much interest in getting the public services at their personal benefits in countries like those. Continue reading

Children abuse? Let´s work in prevention

Recently the press reported the case of Shunichi Nakagawa, a 33 years old Japanese photographers who was convicted by the Sihanoukville Court to six years in prison under the charges of children abuse. He has also to pay 119 dollars to every child that was victim of his behavior. After he finishes his conviction, he will be expelled from Cambodia, according to the sentence. By its part, the Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) is going to appeal the sentence to demand more compensation from Nakagawa to the children. Continue reading