During the Khmer Rouge regime, now Director/Founder of SCADP Ms. Yim Sokhary was evacuated to the Pursat Province and lived there until 1992. In December that year she returned to Phnom Penh looking for work and by chance met a young boy named Ardy. The boy had run away from home to live in the city and could not read or write. Here, SCADP was effectively founded in December 1992.
Ms. Sokhary taught using a stick as chalk and the dirt as a blackboard. Ardy’s friends who also lived on the street soon joined and a regular classroom developed under the shade of a tree in front of the Royal Palace. Then, it was merely a group of 16 street children and only a handful of volunteers. By 1998 SCADP had grown to 337 street children and class was located in a compound of pagodas near where the children slept. The first were Langka, Saravorn, Proyouvong and Wat Than.
Seeing their vulnerability, an interim house for street-living children was established with the financial support of the volunteers’ family and friends. Ms. Sokhary worked as a hotel cleaner, a baby-caretaker in a hospital and a volunteer in another NGO to support the existence of this interim house. The house was for street children who were affected by drugs or subsequent drug abuse.On 12 August 1998, the “Street Children Assistance Program” (SCAP) became a formally recognized organization by the Ministry of Interior (Letter #548scn). Recognizing not only the need for support, but also for the development of children and their communities, the “Street Children Assistance and Development Programme” was formally renamed on 25 March 1999 (Letter #242scn). Since January 2000, SCADP has been granted permission by the Ministry of Interior to operate its projects in all provinces and cities with the Kingdom of Cambodia. SCADP now actively engages in 9 provinces/cities and includes over 15,000 affected children.