Phnom Penh is so big and has so many people, but the city has a problem about homelessness. There are so many people who have no place to stay so they can only stay and sleep on the street, in front of someone’s house, or in the park. Most of those people are Motordop drivers, Cyclo drivers, Newspaper sellers, shoeshine kids and other homeless people.
Ratanak is my brother. He used to stay on the street about three years ago. He was 13 then. The reason that he stayed on the street was because our house is too far from the riverside where we were doing business (selling newspapers), and also we don’t have any relatives here in Phnom Penh. From the riverside to our house is about 15 kilometers, close to Phnom Penh Airport.
Ratanak came to the riverside because he wanted to earn and save some money for our family, and also to buy his own things for school. He was a homeless kid for two months and he used to sleep in front of the Riverstreet Bar (which is on the corner of Preah Sisowath Boulevard) with about five other kids, ones that are shoeshine kids, newspaper sellers, bookseller kids, etc. They are all between the ages of about 12 to 17. The kids slept together because they all are friends and they think they can protect each other.
Phnom Penh Blog