History

About BFT Center:

Following the genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-1979, the toll on the people of Cambodia was immense. Most of those remaining had lost members of their families, leaving countless widows and orphans. In addition, many were left disabled from the war and its after effects such as land mines. The people faced many obstacles to resuming a normal life such as illness, lack of education and in particular poverty. Moreover, the psychological trauma from years of war, compounded by the enduring suffering of many survivors, began to manifest in dangerous behaviors. An increase was seen in drug and alcohol addiction, the spread of communicable and venereal diseases, violence within families, smuggling and/or sexual abuse of children, as well as other criminal activities.

Worried by this horrific crisis, Prof. Sedtha Long established the Build Your Future Today Centre (BFT). Sedtha’s life is nothing short of an inspiration. Despite experiencing suffering and hardship during the Khmer Rouge regime in addition to 12 years as a refugee at the Cambodia-Thai border camps, he has continually demonstrated determination and care for his fellow people.

Children of BFT Center

The BFT Center, located in Siem Reap,Cambodia is a local non-governmental organization recognized by the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Education and Youth, unaffiliated with any religious or political party.  BFT is highly committed to providing the opportunity for people, especially children who have been living through hardship and poverty, to adopt effective solutions to improve their lives. This is built upon two principles. First, that “Knowledge is Hope”, and second “Peace is Development”.

Since 2006 BFT has been actively implementing programs of Community Education Development, Community Health & Nutrition Development, Community Peace Building and Child Support Center. So far BFT activities have achieved the following:

– 100 orphans and indigent children have been saved, given support and education at the BFT center

– 750 community school children have improved their health through nutrition programs each year

– 150 community children aged under 5 years have improved their health through nutrition programs

– 1500 impoverished community children have accessed primary and high schools each year

– 1000 children and youth have had the opportunity to acquire skills in English, Computer & Internet literacy each year

– 2000 community children and adults have access to clean water every year

– 200 illiterate adults have participated in the adult literacy and life skills training

– 50 extremely poor families living under critical conditions have had their lives improved through income generation activities each year

– 45 non-government teachers have been trained at BFT center

– 300 participants from NGOs, local business, and individuals have received leadership and management skills training

– 5000 primary and high school children have received moral education

– 850 community people have been participating in the domestic violence reduction training

– Over 500 fruit trees were planted among the villages under BFT target areas

Below is a growing list of links to some recommended reading on the recent history of Cambodia and ongoing issues suffered by the country:

Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land, by Joel Brinkley- examines issues that make Cambodia one of the world’s countries most in need of aid

First They Killed My Father, by Luong Ung- a great memoir for getting a better understanding of what happened

Survival in the Killing Fields by Haing Ngor

A Brief History of the Khmer Rouge by Dan Fletcher (from Time)

Tuol Sleng Museum website

Cambodian Genocide Program, Yale University

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