The Meaning of 'Anjali'
A House of Support
The Sanskrit word “anjali” translates to “offerings” in English. Anjali House is a house of offerings for local children in need. In addition to ensuring the children are healthy and happy and providing them with both education and avenues for creative expression, we hope to offer our children skills and opportunities which will help them find success and fulfilment in the future.
At Anjali House we provide each child with free healthcare, food, clean drinking water and an education.
“We believe that no child should be forced to beg or work. We believe that they have the right to enjoy their childhood. This means to learn, play, make friends and grow in a safe and happy environment. These are basic rights that no child should be denied.”
The Anjali Philosophy
One of the key factors in the development of Cambodia, as in any country, is the education of their children. Education encourages independent and analytical thought, fosters self-confidence, and provides new opportunities. We hope that with this education, these children will be able to fully contribute to, and participate in, the future of their country.
We firmly believe in the value of providing children with the opportunity to access various forms of expression. Whether through art, sport, creative writing, dance or music, we aim to foster each and every child’s creativity. This creativity can be an important tool to encourage social interaction and educational development, as well as being a proven form of therapy for mental and physical disabilities.
Our ultimate goal for the children of Anjali House is to help them develop into healthy, well-adjusted young adults, equipped with the skills and support they need to enter the workforce and be successful in their future endeavors.
Anjali House is a sustainable and locally run organization. Our Director is Khmer, as are all our teachers and most of our key staff. Following the devastation and hardships of the last 50 years, we hope this process will empower our Khmer staff and offer them the chance to broaden their skills, by managing not only healthcare, education, and social work but also eventually fund-raising and communications.
Anjali House began life as a project of the Angkor Photo Association (a registered non-profit association in France – Reg No: W751202186), and Angkor Photography Festival Association in Cambodia (Reg No: 1391SPN). In 2005, a group of photographers got together to promote photography and highlight humanitarian issues in Southeast Asia. APA wanted to produce a regional photo festival but, in an area of so much deprivation, they also wanted to include some of the people who live in this remarkable and wonderful part of the world.
Anjali House began with a one-off dance troupe, lead by Sangeeta Isvaran, and a photography workshop initiated by Magnum photographer Antoine d’Agata. The children were encouraged away from the streets, and at the end of the week they performed their dance routine and exhibited their photographs to an international audience. With rapt applause they found a sense of empowerment, pride and personal achievement.
Galvanized by the difference that first week made, APA was inspired to further extend its help, and began to provide education and practical support to Siem Reap’s street children and engage with their parents.
The seeds of those efforts grew into the Anjali House of today. Close ties remain with the Angkor Photo Festival which provides annual photography workshops for our kids. However, Anjali House is now its own organization with its own leadership.
To sign-up for our Anjali-House quarterly newsletter, please fill out this form. This newsletter will provide a detailed report on what’s been happening at Anjali this quarter. We will also mention some ways to get involved in our work including helping us fundraise, signing up to volunteer, and general inquiry forms. Thanks for joining the Anjali family!
Follow our blog to read regular updates from inside Anjali. Hear from our students, young adults, staff, volunteers, and more!
Our Annual Report summarizes the year, our accomplishments, our goals, and our supporters. Please take a moment to review the impact that our organization has made thanks to our sponsors.
The annual reports for the past four years are available here.