The Float Foundation, ANBI registered, every dollar/euro goes to charity...


Report of an unforgettable experience.


We started our journey with the impression that Cambodia would be similar to Thailand only poorer.

After a night in Bangkok we headed to the border with Cambodia. When we arrived at the border (Poipet) we realised that we would have to revise our opinion. Passing the border you step into a completely different era, more like the Dutch films from round the turn of the 20th century. The people are happy, have (limited) food but the state of the housing and general services such as water left us lost for words. We realised how lucky we were to be living in Holland. We were overwhelmed by how extremely friendly, helpful and welcoming the people are. Despite their meager existence we were always offered something to drink. After taking a whole day to travel 100 km the orphanage came into sight.

The Orphanage

The orphanage is founded 20km to the south of Battambong (a small town). After passing the orphange once (the driver lost his way) we were warmly welcomed and greeted by 50 children (calling us Mummy and Daddy). We had not expected this, later we understood that the children were told how they had a bed and food because of a mother and father in Holland that provided for them....

Seeing those, well cared for, small faces in person gave us an incredibly good feeling. We were given an extensive tour followed by a meal (rice and fruit). Everything was well regulated and organized by the managers of the house. All were very friendly and clearly involved with the welfare of the children. The staff took us to Battambong on mopeds (with some obstacles, no lights, empty tank, flat tyre) where we stayed for the night. An experience richer.

The main conclusions of our visit were that the house that we had agreed to build had been built and that 50 underprivileged children now have a good house and a home where they are looked after. Secondly that a well committed leadership were running the project, and last but not least 50 children's faces had stolen our hearts.

Some days later we had an appointment with our permanent agent in Cambodia Ms. Ann Vireak. A very nice woman to consult and no language problems as she had studied as a lawyer in America for three years. After a comprehensive introduction (this was the first time we had met her in person), the conversation switched to the orphanage. We indicated that there were a number of things (seen through western eyes) that could be improved with limited spending. Her reply was that it would not be a good idea to make the orphanage better than the conditions of the local children living with their parents. As you can see local knowledge is necessary to avoid Cambodian pitfalls.


Good experience and a good view of the situation in the country. We are convinced that an orphanage is really necessary for the children. We are even more motivated than before to ensure that the necessary funds are made available. Certainly for this charity all help is welcome and if anyone wants more information please send an email or contact us.

Henk en Hanneke van Zijtveld