The Chroy Bantteay home is located in the outskirt of city of Kratie in the province of the same name.The city of Kratie is one of the most picturesque in Cambodia, being located on a high bluff overlooking the Mekong River with stately French colonial buildings along the water front. Kratie is the major city in the province and has a population of about 80,000 which makes up about 30 percent of the population. Within the province there is about a 60% literacy rate and only 9% of the population has attended secondary school.Almost 41% of the population is under 14 and 35 % of the women over 40 are widows. Only 14% of the homes have toilets which is just one of the reasons for the poor state of health care in the region. Most of the population is involved in subsistence agricultural production of upland rice and vegetables with livestock production consisting of a few chickens, a couple of pigs and possibly a cow or team of oxen.
The Chroy Banteay church is pastored by Chea So Tha. Each morning the kids, accompanied by the staff members and caregivers, wake up at five oclock and participate in morning devotions. After devotions they sit down to their usual meal of rice porridge. Finished with eating, the younger kids gather their school supplies and walk 500 meters to school. The older kids carry out their daily chores such as cleaning rooms, washing dishes, washing clothes, helping prepare the vegetables, and feeding the animals.
At noon the young kids come home and the older kids go to school. Death due to childbirth, landmines, violence, and diseases such as malaria, dysentery, dengue fever, and AIDS are the main contributors to an overwhelming orphan population. With the highest HIV infection rate in Asia, death due to A.I.D.S is becoming the number one cause of orphaned children in Cambodia.
In the evening, after dinner, all the kids gather for evening bible study. This is a special time of reflecting and discussing the day. In addition, it is not unusual for all the kids to join in a few songs of worship. Just before bed the kids review their lessons from school. Its eight thirty, time to sleep!