Friends-International

From simple beginnings in 1994, working with the street children of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friends-International (FI) has now grown into a global organisation which reaches out to over 50,000 disadvantaged children and young people each year, bringing them back from the margins of society, protecting and helping them, their families and communities to build a real future through edu- cation, training and empowerment.FI uses a pioneering blend of social work and social business – from teams working day and night pro- viding medical and life skills help directly to those in need on the streets and in communities, through centres supporting young people back into school or on into vocational training for employment, and by training caregivers in production skills so they can earn income to better support their families. Friend’s Social Businesses, including its shops and award-winning training restaurants in Cambodia and Laos, put all proceeds back into supporting programme activities, which helps reduce donor dependency and build real sustainability.

FI also powers The ChildSafe Network, which sup- ports and trains community members to protect their own children from the many risks they may face, including trafficking. It also ensures that international travellers have the knowledge to act responsibly whilst travelling through its ‘7 Tips’ campaigns, the most recent of which ‘Children are not Tourist Attractions’, targeted the rise of orphan- age tourism and highlighted the alternative actions that tourists can take to support at-risk children in developing countries.

Find out more at thinkchildsafe.org

If you are travelling in South East Asia you can directly support the work that FI does by eating
in their restaurants or buying products from their outlets. You can find out more about them, or can make a general donation to support the work of FI, at friends-international.org

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