Sunday, November 16, 2008

Steung Meanchey

I accompanied a friend a while back to the Steung Meanchey local police station (called "sangkat" in Khmer), where she was applying for her ID card. The police station was packed with people that weekday morning. To speed things along, my friend paid a bribe. On the spot the local policemen expedited the processing of her case.
I also saw these two boys squatting next to a strange-looking thing, which my friend told me is a musical instrument. The boys were waiting for their ride and my friend urged me to give them money, which I did, because I felt embarrassed.

Steung Meanchey is infamous for the only rubbish dump in Phnom Penh. It is a terrible, terrible place and you can find out more about the people living there from Canadians helping Cambodian youth. If you are really interested, you can google "Steung Meanchey" and you'll find photos of hell on earth. I will not link to any, because I get angry at photographers who see the dump as a photo opportunity, but do nothing once they've taken their "human interest" shots and leave the dump.

But there are good people helping the community at Steung Meanchey Dump, such as Nuon Phymean, who was chosen as a candidate for CNN's Hero 2008. You can vote for her here and visit her organisation here. Photo of Nuon Phymean from

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