Stronghold Cambodia is a faith-based, non-profit NGO that equips Cambodian children and parents physically, intellectually and spiritually so they may carry out fruitful Christian lives.
What is Stronghold Cambodia?
In 2010, Pastor Dion Garrett set off on a journey to Southeast Asia, a trip that would start a movement in our community at Pathfinder Church. Dion met a missionary who shared a dream of a refuge where Cambodian children could come to be fed, to learn and to know God. The missionary’s dream of the Angel Dormitory Project became a wave in our community, half a world away.
In 2014, the project faced a pivotal moment. In May, after months of staff and board members working closely with legal counsel and government officials, word was received from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation that licensing to house children overnight would no longer be granted to foreign non-governmental organizations. However, the Ministry shared their excitement over the vision and mission of the project and asked for help to achieve their goals for the future of Cambodian children.
In response to the Ministry’s request, Cambodian project leaders and Pathfinder Church decided to adopt the following goals, and revise the business plan of the project.
Instead of housing children in a boarding program, the same services, such as food assistance, classes focused on math, computers, English, Khmer and faith instruction will be provided while children live with their families/guardians via a Christian “wrap around” aftercare model.
Holistic programming and case management
In addition, holistic programming and case management to nurture parental skills and strengthen families will be key to the project’s success.
In June 2014, the Angel Dormitory Project was renamed Stronghold Cambodia and a business plan was adopted at the first Board of Directors meeting. That plan included a revised mission and vision statement and details for Stronghold Cambodia’s programming.
Stronghold Cambodia’s mission to empower communities for positive change through Christian care and learning and vision to equip Cambodian children and parents physically, intellectually and spiritually so they may they may carry out fruitful Christian lives are accomplished through four key areas of programming; student curriculum, parent curriculum, food assistance and Christian instruction.
On October 10, 2014, Stronghold Cambodia dedicated their building in the city of Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia. The first student was admitted before the end of that month. Today, teachers and field workers support over 80 children and their families, working side-by-side to realize the dream that started with a missionary many years ago.