Produced and directed by Bettina Kadoorie, Child of Cambodia (Komar Kampuchea) explores education and the future for children in rural Cambodia through the eyes of Sophea Lim and his charity PKO (Puthi Komar Organisation), which works to bring schools, libraries and hope to impoverished communities where there would otherwise be none.
Nick undertook the entire editing and post production for this project. Working between other projects and commitments (for both the director and Nick), it took over 8 months to bring together, edit, refine, grade and finish. Combing through almost 100 hours of footage, the result was a sensitive and very human story that reveals the heart of rural life in Cambodia today.
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Thirty five years after the genocide of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia remains one of the world’s poorest nations, heavily dependent on foreign aid. But Cambodia is young: half the population is under the age of 22. Education is the greatest challenge, especially in the countryside, where access and infrastructure are limited.
But one Cambodian is working to empower rural communities through child education. Child of Cambodia (Komar Kampuchea) follows Sophea Lim and his dedicated staff at the charity PKO as they build and run rural schools, bringing education, and the joy of learning to children across Cambodia’s Battambang Province, to communities still often mired in poverty, where children frequently have to work to support the family.
Shot during October 2011, the film also dramatically captures the devastation and desperation of families caught in the worst monsoon floods Cambodia experienced in over 20 years. The 2011 floods in Bangkok were covered widely in the media, but the greater devastation in Cambodia, where almost 100% of the rice crop was destroyed, received almost no coverage.
This did not stop PKO and partner NGOs from organising and delivering emergency relief to villages, helping families rebuild, and getting children back to school as soon as possible.
Against this backdrop, Sophea takes us on a journey through his challenges, successes, failures, hopes and dreams as he and his dedicated team work tirelessly to educate and build a new Cambodia.