Cambodia Rising: A blueprint for generational change


Stacy Simpkin


New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pukenga Whakaata

Start date: 

31 May 2019

End date: 

16 June 2019

Hours of admission: 

10.30 - 4.30

Cost of admission: 


Chenda and Sina

Auckland photographer Stacey Simpkin shares a collection of images – at once raw and stunning -  that sensitively capture more than a decade of progress by New Zealand charity Cambodia Charitable Trust in breaking the devastating cycle of poverty in Cambodia through education. 

Kiwi ingenuity and dedication meets the hope, longing and determination of young Cambodian girls and boys in this exhibition, which marks the Trust’s 11th anniversary. Simpkin’s collection offers intimate insights into the stark realities of Cambodia’s rural communities while illustrating how the trust’s work is connecting with vulnerable young people.

Scars of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime are still fresh for many. Almost one third of Cambodia’s people were killed by genocide in the 1970s, including a whole generation of artists, intellectuals and teachers. Four decades on, many families still live in desperate poverty.

After a visit to Cambodia in 2007 Tauranga lawyer Denise Arnold established the Cambodia Charitable Trust to attempt to piece back together the country’s broken education system by providing support and training for teachers and schools.

The work offers alternative futures to girls and boys for whom the alternative is often a life of poverty, or worse, in sex trafficking and slavery. 

It’s change that is creating a new generation of educated and ambitious Cambodians, and contributing to youth having a strong voice for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world. 

For more information, visit the Cambodia Charitable Trust website 

Photo Caption: Chenda (13 years) likes to teach her sister Sina (8 years) maths and Khmer (the official language of Cambodia). The sisters live in the Takeo Province – one of the areas in Cambodia where Cambodia Charitable Trust has been working alongside the Ministry of Youth, Education and Sport to turn around the country’s education system by providing support and training for teachers and schools.