Behind Innocent Eyes
Cambodian Development Organization Orphanage
A young boy slips his bony hands around my arm, leaning his slender frame against mine. We sit quietly, watching another group play with small plastic shapes on the dirt floor of their small classroom. After a little while, he breathes just above a whisper, “I miss my family.” I lean in a little closer to the boy, nicknamed Socrates, continuing to watch the children play their made up game. After a little while, I ask him: Where is he from? Does he have any siblings? Did he go to school at home? He answers each question, but his big brown eyes are somewhere else. He explains that his family is very poor and that he did not go to school until coming to the orphanage. Wrapping my arms around him, we sit just for another moment on the little wooden bench. Then he smiles and slinks off to be with the other kids, enjoying the cool of the afternoon. Socrates and 22 other children from extremely impoverished families find refuge at the Cambodian Development Organization Orphanage in the little village of Sras Srang, on the outskirts of Siem Reap. This project simply tried to document the lives and relationships of the children who make their home in the little orphanage. To find more information about the orphanage please visit www.cdo-orphanage.org.