Cambodia is both a source and transit country for victims trafficked into Thailand. While little hard research has been done, anecdotal evidence indicates some of this trafficking occurs from the northwestern part of Cambodia into Thailand around the southern Buriram area, where our foundation is located.
In late October 2006, as we were still thinking about the form the new foundation would have, we took a one day trip to the northwest part of Cambodia to check on schools and become more familiar with the area. This trip was to get an impression of the sorts of things that further, more careful, research might unearth. The pictures and captions show only what we saw and heard at the few sites we visited.
The northwestern part of Cambodia is cut off from the rest of the country by mountains and is thought to be somewhat ignored by the rest of the country.
Border crossing. Border guards are in the near building. The gate beyond leads to a gambling casino on the Cambodian side that those from Thailand may access without officially crossing.
A small village/town just past the border in Cambodia
We asked this boy where the nearest school was. He took us to his uncle who accompanied us to a school.
This building was built by a well known NGO in cooperation with the government
Talking with local people at the back of the school. They told us it has never been used.
Lush country off the back of the school, but there may be mines out there
Another school building identical to the first, but in a different location. The children said that these buildings, two at this site, were also unused except for one classroom where someone gives private instruction in Thai language in the evening.
Coming back toward Thailand