Damnok Toek (which means ‘drop of water’ in English / ‘goutte d’eau’ in French) was created by Goutte d’eau Switzerland in 1996. It is a Cambodian NGO active in supporting vulnerable and exploited children and their families in three different locations: Poipet, Neak Loeung, and Phnom Penh. Damnok Toek takes care of about 900 children daily with the support of around 120 employees. Its activities include:
- Rehabilitation for under-age substance abusing children: about 40 children are welcomed at the Rehabilitation Center in Poipet every year. They are put through a six-month long drug and trauma rehabilitation program including psycho-social support, life skills training (cooking, cleaning, gardening, maintenance), art therapy (circus, theatre), and workshops (painting, wood carving, etc). Upon completion of this program they can choose to be referred to another project or to be reintegrated into their families whenever possible.
- Day care for street children: about 70 children a day are welcomed in the Drop In centers in Neak Loeung and Poipet offering non-formal education, medical care, hygiene facilities or simply a break from their daily work – a place to rest or carry on recreational activities. The center also provides a night shelter with a capacity of 20 children. The staff carries out the following activities: outreach and counseling to street children (four times a day), family tracing and assessment, and follow-up of reintegration cases.
- Non-formal education and prevention for street children: about 450 children receive half-a-day formal education (basic literacy, mathematics) and life skill training (cooking, cleaning, gardening, and maintenance) in the Neak Loeung and Poipet centers. They also receive food and school materials, and the staff follows up and supports the children once they have been reintegrated into public schools. The staff also carries out awareness raising activities in the communities.
- Education and vocational training for street children: about 100 children and young adults live in the Residential Center in Neak Loeung (mid to long-term stay). They receive psycho-social support and have access to non-formal education (basic literacy and mathematics), life skills training (cooking, cleaning, gardening, maintenance), and leisure classes (computer, English, traditional music). Young adults have the opportunity to learn new skills in vocational training classes in carpentry, tailoring, mechanic, and hairdressing. Upon completion of their training, they can find a job which allows them to generate a small income for them and their family.
- Care for trafficked children, deported and repatriated from Thailand by local authorities: about 45 children are welcomed at the Reception Center in Poipet where they stay for about six to 12 months. The morning sessions are dedicated to psycho-social, recreational, and creative activities (storytelling, art, singing, dancing, morality, and social awareness). In the afternoon they go to the Day Care center where they receive non-formal education and life skills training (cooking, cleaning, gardening, maintenance). The staff carries out family tracing activities to try and reintegrate the children into their families or communities whenever possible.
- Care for children and young adults with mental and/or physical disabilities: the Handicap Center in Phnom Penh welcomes up to 30 children and young adults with disabilities. This center provides a shelter and a place to call home for disabled children where they receive special care and services such as medical care, physical and/or occupational therapy, psychosocial support, as well as non-formal education. This center aims at enhancing these children’s chances to live an independent adult life when possible. Read more here.
- Medical care and prevention in the centers’ clinics to the following target groups: children benefiting from DT’s projects, vulnerable and poor children from the community, as well as street living, street working and substance-abusing children. Medical care is provided at a very low symbolic cost to make sure that parents are aware of the financial and moral responsibility they have to their children – serious cases are treated free of charge and/or referred to the main hospital. The clinics also focus on reducing child malnutrition by providing powder milk and follow-up to children whose mothers are not able to breastfeed. The doctors give educational information to the social workers of DT and to the overall community on hygiene, nutrition, and health related issues such as diseases, HIV/AIDS, avian influenza, as well as sexual and reproductive health.
GEcsn founded Damnok Toek in 1996. The NGO was localized in 2001.