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Cambodian Kids with Swords, Guns, and Poems

Categories: Cambodia, Citizen Media

gun play

Last month Jinja [1] captured this photo of these two Cambodian boys playing with toy guns in the streets of Phnom Penh. Even though Jinja played with guns as child, he thought these scenes were a little disturbing because the guns looked so real!

A few days ago, Chlim01 is Bored [2] blogged about a recent news item [3] about children and young adults attacking each other with Samurai swords, injuring a 10 year-old- boy and briefly alarming people living in a provincial town. The kids with swords were arrested by police. All were clients in a NGO's drug program, Mith Samlanh [4], and were recovering from drug addictions. One wonders how these got their hands on Samurai swords?

Despite the newspaper headline, the organization is well-known for its work with homeless kids in Cambodia [5] and one of the two NGOS that dares to work with drug users [6] in this country. Mith Samlanh's programs have been mentioned on blogs by expats, like Sweet Cucumber [7] and Jungle Blog. [8]

Life as a homeless child in Cambodia is a very difficult life, as this poem by a former orphan and blogged by Tharum [9]indicates. There is a ray of hope, as this struggling poet was able to improve his circumstances.