Smiling Gecko Fundraiser during Covid-19

Smiling Gecko is an innovative Cambodian NGO founded in 2012, located 60km north of Phnom Penh. It provides solutions to the root causes of rural poverty and rural families trapped in the cycle of urban misery and exploitation. SGC fosters a pathway towards self-reliance through a vibrant cluster of sustainable business-like operations.  Destitute urban families escape the horrible conditions of slums by being brought back to the countryside where they are equipped with education, vocational skills and assets to produce goods and services sold at market prices.

It all began with twelve families from Phnom Penh slums returning to Kampong Chnang, where they were trained in sustainable agriculture practices at the Smiling Gecko Farmhouse Project. Crop production, poultry, pig and fish farming are thriving.  Children attend the bilingual Khmer / English Smiling Gecko School.  In fact, the school is so much more than a school as it provides nutritious meals and sanitation habits critical for the normal development of children (all of which we take for granted).  Now Smiling Gecko also provides for vocational activities in hospitality, carpentry and packaged food production and in doing so provides genuine economic training and opportunity for ~150 families, thus supporting ~1’200 people in its community.

However, this little oasis of hope has now sadly gone dry.  Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the school was forced to abruptly close.  None of the 300 kids receive food, emotional, educational and hygienic support anymore.  All other economic activities at Smiling Gecko had to be suspended at once due to the pandemic.  This situation has been cruel and unfair as Cambodia simply doesn’t have any of the Government infrastructure and programs meant to assist the poor during such times of extraordinary stress.   

Without our immediate help, the danger has become clear:  It is only a matter of time until some of the families will have to go back to the slums of Phnom Penh, where they will, again, become exposed to exploitation.  It is our collective duty to help the poorest and the weakest, as they are the most at risk and the ones who always suffer the most during such crises.

I am appealing to you, urgently, for funds to help the children and families of SGC to support them throughout the hardships imposed by COVID-19. Our economic and moral support will go a very long way in bringing some semblance of hope to them.  I would be so very grateful if you could make a contribution. Any amount will help.  100% of the funds will go towards basic food and medical supplies, and to provide absolute minimum support to the families in the Community (local farmers, fishermen, staff, teachers and trainers and their children).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and care during this Pandemic!

Here is the link to their website:



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Charlotte Firmenich 
Cologny, GE, Switzerland
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