Spreading Sunshine through Giving at Sunrise Cambodia
When we began to define what F.I.N.E stood for as a brand and our mission statement which is to Inspire Noble Elegance. We believe that the hope of the future begins with education and empowerment and since we are a brand that creates and makes Bijoux necklaces and earrings that make women feel precious, we naturally wanted to support women.
There are many worthy organizations in the world with this mission, however, we choose to support a well documented and established non-profit called Sunrise Cambodia.
Here are a few facts about the non-for-profit organization that we at F.I.N.E support:
What is Sunrise Cambodia?
Sunrise Cambodia is a community development and children’s charity. It works on the ground in Cambodia to achieve sustainable community development and support at-risk kids and poor families. The charity is entirely funded by generous donors. The organization was originally called Sunrise Children’s Village but changed its name and mission in late 2015 to herald a new beginning for the charity. The focus of the charity moved away from the orphanage model towards a more holistic and sustainable entity. Sunrise is now helping Cambodia’s communities and families as a whole.
We love that Sunrise Cambodia was founded by a true, F.I.N.E woman - Geraldine Cox AM, who embodies the concept of quiet confidence and truly inspires noble elegance.
Ms Cox founded Sunrise Cambodia in the early 1990s although she first became enamored to Cambodia in the 1970s working as a secretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Phnom Penh during the Vietnam War.
Cambodia is a tropical country with unfortunate history including civil domestic conflict and several foreign enemies including the US. The communists won the civil war and over the next four years, more than a quarter of the population was systematically murdered by its leader, Pol Pot. The disastrous impact of this history on the gentle-natured people of Cambodia is still profound.
In 1993 in which Geraldine took in a group of orphans she found fending for themselves near the Thai border. These children were direct descendants of those who were casualties of Pol Pot’s murderous regime after the civil war.
The military coup of 1997 threatened the existence of the charity, but Sunrise Cambodia and Geraldine Cox persevered through this frightening and uncertain time to remain open to care for the kids and families of Cambodia.
Like everything, Sunrise and Ms. Cox's mission has evolved.
The Sunrise Cambodia organization have moved forward and away from being an orphanage, however, continues to improve the holistic community it serves in a sustainable fashion.
Ms. Cox knows that a village just needs some extra support to stay above the poverty line and keep their kids safe, well and at home with their family. It is much more cost effective to support a village rather than to institutionalize children. Sunrise Cambodia invests in finding the families of trafficked children and repatriating them home, then supporting those villages to offer education and health services.
Sunrise Cambodia continues to look after 'at risk' children who require full-time residential care. The Cambodian government now refers such children to centers and the organization continues to give the children a safe home and good education.
Here are some of the wonderful community development projects that Sunrise Cambodia is involved in...
Sunrise Cambodia engages in a number of community development projects that benefit thousands of Cambodians. These projects are undertaken after feasibility studies and in cooperation with the local communities and their leaders.
These projects include:
- Building new, insulated homes for Cambodian families to ensure they are safe
- Giving bikes to local kids in the villages so they can get to school
- Installing water pumps for villages so they have access clean water
- Bridge and roadway renovations to ensure villagers can travel safely
- Mobile hospital clinics and community health centers giving free medical and mental health care services
- Schooling and sports coaching, not only for kids in residential care but for kids in neighboring villages
What communities received the greatest benefit from Sunrise Cambodia?
- Sunrise Kandal was the first of Sunrise Cambodia’s projects and is the home of Geraldine Cox. It’s primarily a residential care center for kids and has a school, soccer field, boxing gym and all-purpose sports court. Sunrise staff also engage in community development work to support local villages. It is located just outside of Phnom Penh.
- Sunrise Siem Reap is also a residential care center with schooling and other activities available to kids in care and those in neighboring villages. Siem Reap also engages in community development work with the surrounding villages, has a training restaurant on site and is developing some very exciting social enterprise projects!
- Kampong Speu is a community development project partnership with a local government school. It has a brilliant soccer academy that trains some of the best soccer players in Cambodia. This and the other sports programs have seen school attendance jump from 80 to over 600 students!
- Sunrise New Hope (Siem Reap) became a Sunrise project in 2016 after 10 years as an outstanding grassroots NGO. Along with its health care center and community development projects, Sunrise New Hope has been giving free education to kids of the Mondul Bai area of Siem Reap since 2007 and now supports over 800 students.
We at F.I.N.E proudly support Sunrise Cambodia and donate towards building future leaders. We empower women through education because we believe that all women have a right and the opportunity to inspire noble elegance.