Estimates show that as many as 500,000,000 children are pushed onto the margins of society around the world. This number is increasing. Friends-International is an NGO that started working with street children in 1994. Since then they have expanded their services to support other groups of urban marginalized children and youth. Many of them are living and working on the streets, using drugs, affected by HIV, migrants or at risk of unsafe migration, in prison and in conflict with the law, victims of abuse and domestic violence, involved in the sex trade, school drop-outs or unemployed, or living in poverty.
Friends Programs have developed a holistic social integration cycle of projects that are implemented directly or in collaboration with partners. Dozens of youth attend their workshops in downtown Phnom Penh, where they develop their skills like mechanics, hairdressers, beauticians, blacksmiths or cookers, who also feed other street children. Many of these young cookers are trained at Friends the Restaurant, the world-famous restaurant run by Mith Samlanh.
Over 10 years in operation, this vibrant and colorful training restaurant has become a must-visit place on any trip to the Cambodian capital. Located near the National Museum, it is famous for its blend of Asian and Western-style tapas.