Our Residential Program was created in 1994 in response to the civil war in the Southwest of Cambodia. Kampot long known as a strong hold for the Khmer Rouge, inflicted great damage throughout the 1990’s on villages, infrastructure and the quality of life of ordinary Cambodian civilians.
KCDI opens its main hall to Cambodian artists as a free exhibition space in order to provide opportunities for the local community to have access to art exhibitions that may otherwise be out of reach. KCDI also cooperates with the local Department of Arts to put on exhibitions of artifacts.
We also assist a further 400 local children from the surrounding community, who come to our school during the daytime only, to study music and take ballet lessons. Those children who come from very poor villages, also receive a meal at our school and all children are entitled to medical care whenever they need it.
Our school specializes in the tuition of traditional classical Cambodian music, ballet and theatre, as a form of post-traumatic therapy, but also as a form of vocational training and as a way to preserve Cambodia’s traditional arts and culture after the genocide of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge.
As the older children at KCDI complete high school and prepare for life outside of the orphanage, a transition program aimed at supporting these students into independent life is in place. This includes supporting students to attend university and to learn how to be members of the community.
Our blind students live at our school along with their special housemother, they are accompanied by our staff and sighted children to state school for lessons using Braille in the morning and then back to our school for lunch and music lessons in the afternoon.