« Pour un Sourire d’Enfant », For a Child’s Smile (PSE), is a charity founded twenty years ago by Marie-France and Christian des Pallières in Phnom Penh. When travelling in Cambodia, they discovered what they recount as being “hell on earth: children of all ages living, working and eating under the scorching sun in Phnom-Penh’s then biggest dump”. A completely inhumane world where children were risking their lives for a few cents, where some of them would die crushed by bulldozers shifting garbage.
Moved by so much misery, they decided to act quickly. In 1996, they embarked on a crazy but beautiful and fulfilling adventure with one single goal in mind: to give these children a future. “When we started PSE we told ourselves that if we could bring a smile back to one impoverished child’s face, then it would have been worthwhile, hence the charity’s name”.
Since then, more than 10,000 children have been rescued from the dumps: they have received medical care, been clothed, nourished, socialized, educated and since graduated. With a well-recognized qualification, these children are now able to join the workforce and integrate into local society. But there are still so many children out there to save. This is why in 2014, PSE Hong Kong branch was open with a clear objective: reinforcing the local awareness of the charity and leveraging the actively involved Hong-Kong based community. Since then, PSE Hong Kong has been incredibly active in promoting initiatives to raise funds and recruit sponsors through many successful events including Christmas fairs, concerts, the HK French Theatre Festival… to name a few.
In October 2016, at the age of 82, Christian des Pallières, known as “Papy” by the children, passed away, in his home at PSE in Phnom Penh. He dreamt of a better world and he now rests in peace knowing that PSE will continue to bring the smile back to Cambodian children.
PSE would like to thank the HK French Theatre Festival, sponsored by the French Consulate, and its partners. In 2016 and 2017, they raised funding to provide 2 years of Business school to 45 students in Cambodia.
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