Phnom Penh Restaurant Salvation for Street Kids
You can't help but notice the street kids in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Some of them, darting through the heavy traffic of tuk-tuks and motos on their hunt for crisp dollar bills, are so young they have yet to learn to talk. Other than scooping them off the streets and taking them home with you (which is very tempting, but complicated), you can grab a bite to eat at Friends. This NGO, which was awarded the Order of Australia for service to Humanity, works with children and families to get them off the street.
Specifically, the Web site notes, "the target group is homeless and vulnerable street children and adolescents, including their families, who are at high risk of exploitation and physical and emotional abuse, especially through forced commercial sex and violence in the streets."
Step into the spotless interior, decorated with brightly colored artwork conceived by the children (such as this map of the restaurant, shown), and you are greeted by a friendly staff composed of former street kids. T-shirts designate "teacher" and "student." The food? Excellent. Try the raspberry-lime shake. In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, Sozo Centre is a similar organization, dishing up tasty home-baked goods and free wi-fi. ::Friends ::Sozo Centre