longest serving local Non–Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Cambodia, set up by Cambodian people, for Cambodian people
Whilst the situation in Cambodia is improving, with increases in income and development, there is still much to be done. Approximately 4.5 million people continue to live in 'near poverty', meaning that they are vulnerable to falling back into poverty when exposed to economic and systemic shocks.
We believe a truly transformative, gender responsive development and poverty eradication framework can drive change on systemic issues and structural causes of poverty and discrimination.
In this equitable and people-centered development framework, we exist to promote social and economic empowerment through cross-cutting programs, to create awareness about rights, to ensure development, care and protection, to facilitate access to learning, nutrition, institutional and legislative support for enabling the Cambodian communities, especially women and children to grow and develop to their full potential.
We exist to raise resilient Cambodian communities.
KHEMARA is the first local NGO in Cambodia to work with women and children. Since inception in 1991 we have played a significant role in supporting the advancement of disadvantaged populations and enabling their voices to be heard.
We envision a Cambodian society in which all people, especially the women and children, are empowered to participate in their social development, from the grassroots level to the highest levels in political, public and economic life, as well as in the cultural and social spheres.
Khemara is a grassroots organisation, working directly with its beneficiaries. With our human rights-based approach for implementing programs across Cambodia, we are able to generate strong and supportive relationships from village through national level, with the aim of delivering improved circumstances for our beneficiaries.
We take a holistic approach to help the most vulnerable people in our target communities. As a grassroots organization, we offer services that best meet the needs of the population, and are able to adapt to any changes in circumstances. Our fundamental understanding of what vulnerable communities need has enabled thousands of women, children, and disadvantaged population to recognise their potential and rights to participate in decision making process.
We also work with government, aligning with the policies they implement, whilst remaining independent and nonaffiliated to any political party.
With our grassroots approach, we succeed in developing community ownership of the programs while enabling beneficiaries with the skills and confidence to bring the program outcomes to fruition, guaranteeing its long-term sustainability.
We engage directly with communities across a wide range of programs such as Childcare Centres, Income Generation, Child Protection and Public Health.
The single purpose of these programs is to improve the lives of Cambodian women and children, by promoting the capacity, empowerment and wellbeing of communities.
Phallany was in her late teenage years when the Khmer Rouge took power. After the Khmer Rouge she saw most of the families around her without a “male” head of the household. The women had to step up but with no voice, no education, no employable skills, neither the women nor their children could sustain the vicious cycle of poverty. Seeing this happen over and over again and fed up of hearing lessons from the Chbab Srei and other Khmer proverbs, such as: “Men are gold and women are white clothes”, or “Housework is the work of women”, Phallany decided to join Khemara which was led by the then Minister of women, Mu Sochua. She joined as a Finance Executive in 1991 and has grown with Khemara with the sole purpose of serving the Cambodian community, especially women and children.
Provincial Program Manager
Child Protection Project Officer
Child Care Center Project Officer
Chair of Board
Vice Chair of Board
Want to join the Khemara family?
Seeing local civil servants, I work and interact with, take charge of Cambodia’s future, motivates me to continue to work with Khemara. Working as Childcare center manager is exciting because each day I witness resilient parents and children taking charge of their future and leting go of their past.
Ms. Bun Seyla, Child Care Center Project Officer
Want to experience first-hand
what working at a grassroot
NGO is really like?
During my internship I had a high-level of ownership over my tasks, and had the chance to contribute to exciting projects with while working with local and internation partner organisations. It’s been a great chance to immerse myself in the operations of the NGO sector, as well as attend some great events. The skills I’ve developed during my internship have definitely improved my employability, and made me much more confident moving into my next position.
Gabrielle Vallières, France, Intern 2018-2019
We are always looking for skilled volunteers with experience to assist in building capacity for ongoing development within Khemara.
“The experiences I’ve had here will last a lifetime. The people I’ve met and the things I’ve seen have changed my outlook on my own life in a way I was not expecting. If you’re on the fence about whether to take some time out to volunteer, then I would tell you to take the plunge and come to Cambodia. You may find more here than you ever expected”
Nicolas France, volunteered in 2019
Meeting local authorities in Takeo to discuss solutions for farmers to gain sustainable source of food Security and opportunity to earn income by selling surplus vegetable and livestock
At International Children's Day, in province Preah Sihanouk, distributing 100 bicycles to primary and lower secondary girl students most at-risk of leaving school in partnership with Lotus Outreach.
Mother's Day celebration at Naga World: who supported Khemara by offering furniture to 250 single mothers living in Russey Keo and Chroy Changvar.
Khemara works in close collaboration with Tbong Khmum communities to spread knowledge, address high risk behaviors and fight discrimination people living with HIV/AIDS
We're still working towards making this available on our site and will be added shortly.
• Network for Early Childhood Care and Development (NECCD)
• Cambodian NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child
• Cambodia Against Child Trafficking (Cambodia ACTs)
• HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (HACC)
• Gender and Development Network Cambodia
• Child Safe Organisation Committee and Monitoring and Evaluation of Orphans and Vulnerable Children Committee
• Orphans and Vulnerable Children Task force for Kampong Cham Province in 2013
• Working Group for Partnerships in Decentralisation (WGPD)
• The NGO Forum on Cambodia
• Cooperation Committee for Cambodia
• UNESCO’s Education Sector Working Group (ESWG)
• UNICEF’s Violence Against Children(VAC)
• District women and children consultation committee
• Provincial Multi sector working group on violence against women and children
• CEDAW - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women