Toul Pongro

Toul Pongro

The Toul Pongro home is located in the village of Toul Pongro, which is comprised of a group of shacks outside the city of Poi Pet.Poi Pet is the major border crossing city between Cambodia and Thailand. Poi Pet is a casino town in the Banteay Mean Chey Province and is right on the border of Thailand. The people of Toul Pongro are poor and cannot find work in their own village. Most have to cross the border into Thailand each day. Most of the goods that are transported overland between these countries travel through Poi Pet. Tourists come from Thailand to gamble in the casinos. Many Cambodian refugees that fled Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge were brought back to Poi Pet where they still live today.

There is a mixture of people in Poi Pet. Refugees, people with import or export businesses, laborers for Thai companies, casino workers, as well as many displaced Cambodians. Poi Pet is also the main trafficking route between Cambodia and Thailand. Many woman and children are trafficked through Poi Pet each year.

Children in the home start each day praying together as a group soon after they wake up. Then they eat breakfast, after which some go to school. Others go to school later in the day. They get to school on a three-wheeled motorbike and side cart. When not in school, they do chores like gardening and washing clothes. They also do homework and review their lessons. In their free time, they enjoy playing soccer, jumping rope, and playing with other children. Shortly after dinner the children gather for a time of prayer and worship before going to sleep.

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