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Andong Village Film shot

In Cambodia, a group of care workers try to improve the education and living conditions in a displaced persons camp.

Synopsis

Andong Village is the result of slum clearing in Phnom Penh, forcing thousands of people out of the city to be relocated to camps in the rural surrounds. Andong is one of these camps.

New arrivals face no housing, no sanitation, no schools or medical services, and they must build makeshift dwellings and try to deal with health hazards as water floods the land in the wet season.

Conditions are desperate, disease is spreading and a number of non-government organisations are trying to set up services.

A group of care workers interact with the community, to help them establish their priorities for rebuilding their lives post eviction.

As they focus on education for young children and provide equipment for clean drinking water and classes on nutrition and sanitation, they must also deal with their emotional reactions to the plight of the village.

Background

This was a very harrowing project on a number of levels as officials do not support profiling these displacement camps to the wider world.

We had to get the support of a local supervisor to get access.

Then we had to deal with the realities of such horrible living conditions.

People trying to maintain a domestic routine in makeshift dwellings of bamboo and canvas beside streams of raw sewage. Children playing amongst piles of rotting refuse.

Everyone we met graciously allowed us to film them and their dignity, warmth and stoicism was only matched by the dedication of care workers to make a difference.

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