Take home a unique souvenir of Cambodia – the imagination, innovation and creativity of a child reflected in a timeless painting.
What to experience ?
The beautiful Serendip Children’s art gallery located on Serendipity Beach in Sihanoukville features the colourful and creative art work of the children who once roamed the beaches. You are welcomed to stroll around admiring and appreciating these pieces of ‘heart’ that have been created by children of the area. The children work with acrylic and oil based paints.
With the help of friends and supporters, they have held a number of art exhibitions around the world to raise awareness of their budding artists. Some volunteers come with new perspectives and ideas opening all creative doors for these children. Music, dance, karate, singing, and theatre are just some of the other activities children have participated in.
All paintings in the gallery sell for US$4 each. With so many creative images and ideas to choose from, it will be hard to only pick one to take back home with you.
How does it help ?
The Cambodian Children’s Painting Project is a continuation of an activity initiated by Roger Dixon, a professional artist, who came to Cambodia to paint on Sihanoukville’s beaches in the early 90’s. The local children were intrigued by this man and his paints and wanted to try it for themselves. Bringing the necessary materials with him the following season, the children started to paint. The activity proved so popular and successful that Roger made it into a regular feature during his annual visits.
Often, these children, roaming the beaches of Sihanoukville selling small trinkets to tourists, get caught up in economically and sexually exploitative situations or drop school. They are between the ages 5 and 15 years old and they fall into many categories: orphans, children who are living with uncaring or abusive parents or relatives, and children whose families do not have the means to provide proper care.
To combat this, the Cambodian Children’s Painting Project secures a safe, stable, and emotionally supportive environment that gives not only protection from these situations, but also works to improve their education and personal development through art and painting. They are a registered school, teaching English, Khmer, and IT. They provide a small snack and lunch everyday, access to medical and dental assistance and the most important thing, an opportunity to receive a proper education.
Most of their regularly attending children no longer sell their bracelets and wares along the beach, yet they continue to earn money to help support their families through the sale of their paintings. Paintings are sold for $4 with $2 going to the child’s family, and $2 going into the Project’s communal education fund, used to offer the children a chance to attend Khmer school, paying school fees and providing uniforms, bags, books and pens.
Sihanoukville Province, Sihanoukville