Rok Kern offers education and faith-based organisations the opportunity to bring their students and congregations on a journey of discovering new ways of doing volunteering and mission trips. Rok Kern is designed to be an integrated package where participants work with us to explore their personal responses to poverty and justice over a 6-12 month period. Rok Kern does involve a study tour or missions exposure trip but, unlike other programs, that is not the destination of your journey! Rather, learning from others who you might not normally hear from, learning about yourself, challenging your worldview and sharing your learning with others is the destination.
Our case study for this journey is how to care for vulnerable children. By learning about orphanages and family based care in Cambodia and around the world, we explore what it means to serve and love others in ways that do no further harm to vulnerable communities.
For those that can’t commit to a study tour, or for groups who are already in Cambodia doing other things, we offer a range of courses that can be taken online, as in-person workshops, or as organisational training and development opportunities.
During a Rok Kern Trip
What we will DO:
What we will NOT DO
Rok Kern is an exposure trip, not a service trip
A Vision is Born
Another Vision is Born
Children belong in families. A child thrives when they experience the love and care of parents and extended family members. The UN has declared that growing up in a family is a human right and every nation in the world has committed to prioritising family-based care for vulnerable children. Since 2016, there has been a growing awareness that many orphanages are using human trafficking in order to attract visitors to sustain their business models.
Rok Kern is a project of Children in Families, one of Cambodia’s first family-based care organisations. We, at Rok Kern, believe that orphanages are an example of when short-term, outside-driven solutions are applied to contexts that people don’t fully understand. Rok Kern is an invitation to try to understand this context more. We invite you to learn about the research surrounding orphanages and to come and meet the staff at CIF and our partner organisations that are at the forefront of family based care and reintegration in Cambodia. For those of you who have relationships with orphanages, we invite you to learn about the global movement away from institutions and then take that knowledge back to the orphanage you work with.
We invite you to risk questioning things you think you know about development, charity, missions and yourself to learn how you can support sustainable long-term change in Cambodia and strengthen families to help them grow and thrive.
Australia and the US transitioned away from orphanage-based care for children when there was an increased awareness of child-protection, a focus on improving social work standards and financial support for families experiencing poverty.
Rok Kern invites you to see how all three of these factors are currently happening in Cambodia and advocate with us, and with over 40 other Cambodian-based organisations, to place children back in families, where they belong.