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Away form the bars and bar street, over the bridge and just a few doors along from Wat Dam Nak, the Green Gecko Project's Headquarters has applied a fresh coat of paint to its recently opened doors.

While PhnomPenh has had the likes of Friends and The Global Child for some years, the Green Gecko Headquarters is the first street kid's drop-in center in Siem Reap.

Project founder Tania Palmer describes the center as a place where 'the children can eat a hot lunch, attend an English class, feel secure, play and receive medical attention.

The day starts at 10:30 with the kids already sitting at the gates waiting for Tania and the other volunteers to arrive. The children get to shower, with some of the real enthusiasts managing six or seven showers in a day.

Beginner and intermediate classes in English follow, then it is a hot lunch followed by gymnastics or Khmer dancing.

To Tania and the other volunteers it is abundantly clear that these children do not want to beg. If I ask who wants to beg, they can hardly look at me in the eye it's as if they cannot even believe that I brought the subject up, said Tania.

Without sponsors, the center is reliant on Tania's business in Australia to fund the center. Anyone wishing to donate, sponsor or volunteer their skills can email: greengecko@hugabub.com


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