Working with the street children of Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Tapang tree, also known as the umbrella tree, provides shelter from the elements. MLop means shade or protection in the Khmer language.
In 2003 M'lop Tapang (MT) was created, by a small group of foreigners and locals. What began as a simple initiative to feed and offer safety to six children who slept under a large Tapang tree on the beach every night and who were extremely vulnerable to exploitation, quickly blossomed into a much wider program.
Today we work with over 3500 street living and working young people and their families at 10 centers in the Sihanoukville area. M'lop Tapang provides street children access to the learning tools, specialized services, resources, and opportunities they need to build a better future. We offer regular meals, shelter, medical care, education and training, counseling, family support / reintegration and protection from all types of abuse as well as increasing community awareness about issues affecting street children.
As Mlop Tapang continues to grow the purpose of the organization remains to provide protection, just as the tree provided protection to those young people years ago who sheltered under its branches.