In my last post I mentioned this as a new addition to the Anjali House program. I am especially proud of them for doing this, because it really does show an unusual and crucial commitment to the ongoing development of these kids. Once they finish school, anywhere between 17 and 20 years old depending on when they were able to begin, they now can go on to live in their own house where they have to learn to live together, wash their own clothes, cook their own food, clean their living spaces. Think of a college dorm or apartment, but take away all the help such as meal plans and laundry services. The kids live here until they go on to University or get housing associated with a job or apprenticeship. There is a “House Family” on site to oversee them, and someone from the Anjali House staff goes over every day while the kids drop by Anjali as well to check in. There is plenty of supervision, but also enough freedom for them to learn how to be adults. Many of my students from last year are living there now, so I really wanted to see for myself what it was all about.

This house is a very typical Khmer house, a few kilometres outside of Siem Reap, down a labyrinth of dirt roads into the countryside. It is literally a ten minute ride from the city, but you can see how rural it is.

The road to the Young Adults House
The only way to get there: on the back of Sreylin’s moto*

The house
The kitchen, downstairs
The bed in one of the rooms. 2 boys per bed; not unusual
stairs to the living quarters

upstairs common area**
Field in the back to be used for farming

Chicken coop
“Chicken Time Table”
The well and pump

 * Those who have read my poem Trading in the Vespa will know that riding one of these has been a dream. But don’t worry, Sreylin is very responsible, she drove slowly, and I held on tight.

** Notice the whiteboard. Two of the boys are teaching local village kids English there on very early mornings (i.e. sometimes before 6.00)

I’ve already seen some of the kids as they’ve dropped into Anjali House around lunchtime. It was wonderful to see them there. But it’s even better to see what their lives are like now.