The need for HVTO

During the Khmer Rouge repression, which lasted until 1999, books and schools were burned and millions of Cambodians were forced to leave the cities and move to the countryside. Once there more than two million people died or were killed, including the bulk of the country’s educated middle class. Today the Cambodian government is trying overcome this loss, but it remains one of the poorest countries in the world and help is needed.


HVTO was conceived in the summer of 2007 and, through the financial sponsorship of Frank and Maria Martin from Encino California in the United States, was officially registered in the Cambodian Ministry of Interior as NGO #1049 on 28-August 2008. Activities initially centered around Sophy Village in Kontreang Commune, located 30km (19 miles) southeast of Siem Reap, which is the home village of the HVTO founder, Sim Piseth. In this commune there are eight villages in which nearly 1,900 families and more than 9,000 people live. Since that time, with continued success, HVTO has begun to move into neighboring communes with the programs that are discussed here.

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