WHO WE ARE
M’Lop Tapang is a local non-profit organization that began in 2003.
The organization is registered with the Ministry of Interior, Cambodia. Registration number:856
“M’Lop” means shade or protection in the Khmer language.
The Tapang tree, also known as the umbrella tree, provides shelter from the elements.
In 2003 M’Lop Tapang (MT) was created by a small group of foreigners and locals. It 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, but quickly blossomed into a much wider program.
Today we work with over 5,000 children, youth and families in the Sihanoukville area. M’Lop Tapang provides disadvantaged children and families access to the learning tools, specialized services, resources, and opportunities they need to build a better future. We offer regular meals, safe temporary 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 relative to child safety and child rights.
As M’Lop Tapang continues to grow the purpose of the organization remains to provide protection, just as the tree provided protection to those young children years ago who sheltered under its branches.
M’Lop Tapang has been working with vulnerable children, youth, and families in the Sihanoukville region for more than 15 years. During that time, we have seen the city grow and develop, but nothing like it has in the last couple of years. Sihanoukville, a once sleepy beach town on the coast of Cambodia that attracted Western and local tourists, has been undergoing massive changes in the last two years due to immense Chinese investment and construction of new hotels/casinos targeting Chinese tourists.
These changes are having a dramatic impact of M’Lop Tapang: beneficiaries, staff, budget, programming and all operations. Some of the most immediate impacts include:
• Increase in child labour (seen in construction sites and casinos as opposed to before it being more street/ beach based)
• Children dropping out of education/ training programs/ school to work in Chinese businesses
• Child Protection awareness in the newly arrived Chinese communities is very low.
• Vulnerable families being suddenly forced out of homes due to high rental increases
• Families loosing income from small businesses/ employment due to shift in customer base (No Khmer/ International tourists coming to Sihanoukville) and closure of many Khmer and Western businesses in Sihanoukville.
• Increase in criminal activities/ criminal networks leading to more reports of violence and danger on streets
• Serious and dangerous flooding due to lack of city planning
• Collapsing infrastructure (broken roads, daily power cuts, lack of clean water, insufficient garbage collection services, pollution in rivers/ sea/ air)
• Dangers from construction sites, cranes, dangerously loaded vehicles, falling materials, sharp objects, and accidents
Our Vision: M’Lop Tapang envisions an environment where all children are allowed to grow up in their families feeling safe, healthy and happy; a society where all children are respected and treated equally; a community where all children are given choices about their future.
Our Mission: M’Lop Tapang strives to provide a safe haven for the vulnerable children of Sihanoukville, offering care and support to any child at risk. We offer access to education, reintegration with families, life-skills training and creative and recreational activities, while ensuring protection from all forms of abuse. Our efforts allow underprivileged children to embrace their childhood so they can become responsible adults as well as positive, independent members of society.
Mr. John McGinley (Chairman)
- Managing Partner, Mekong Strategic Partners
- Johnny advises our team on financial matters and donor relations
- Johnny is a founding member of MT.
Dr. Andrew Rowland
- Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine and Honorary Professor at the University of Salford
- Rowland brings his skills as pediatrician to help with our medical team as well as an advisor for internal research projects
Mr. Hong Sovann
- Training and Development Manager, NVC Corporation
- Prior to moving to the private sector, Sovann worked extensively in the NGO field and brings with him years of experience working in the area of vulnerable children as well drugs issues in Cambodia.
Mr. Martin Reimann
- Formerly the Regional Managing Director Asia Pacific for Edrington Ltd.
- Martin brings to MT a wealth of business and organizational strategy experience from his work in the region
Mr. Khieu Chetra
- Operations Director, Damnok Toek
- Chetra helps our team here immensely with his advice from his years of experience working with child-focused NGOs in Cambodia, including previously serving as the 3PC Project Coordinator (Partnership Program for the Protection of Children) for 3+ years
Ms. Soksophea Suong
- Independent Consultant
- Sophea is an experienced program manager, facilitator, trainer, qualitative researcher, event planner, and consultant with extensive record of work in child protection, maternal and child health and nutrition, livelihood and social change, environment, good governance, advocacy campaign, and Cambodian culture and religion
Mr. Yi Moden
- Control Room Operator of Sihanouk Autonomous Port
- Den was formally the Deputy Director of Field Operation at Action Pour Les Enfants [APLE] in Sihanoukville, an NGO assisting the police with child abuse investigations. His many years of experience in child protection is a tremendous asset for M’Lop Tapang
Our staff is our greatest resource. There are currently approximately 220 paid staff at M’Lop Tapang.
98% of our staff is comprised of local Cambodians, with just 3 foreign staff working in supporting roles. Approximately 50% of the staff is female, including 80% of our senior management team.
M’Lop Tapang partners with the local and provincial authorities, police, and ministries; in particular, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans & Youth Rehabilitation.
Key organizations we partner with include Friends-International, Save the Children Cambodia, Mith Samlanh, and the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, University of Salford, All Ears Cambodia, and Horseware Cambodia.
M’Lop Tapang remains a key partner in the UNICEF-funded 3PC program, the ChildSafe Movement, GHR Foundation’s network of partners in Cambodia, the Family Care First / React network, and the ChildSafe Alliance network.
ADM Capital Foundation
Mike Avery and Jo Ann Sappington
Dorrie Alcock Memorial Fund
Fueling M’Lop Tapang
Kids Unlimited Trust
M’Lop Tapang N. Ireland
MT Social Businesses
Partners For Equity
Peter Bennett Foundation
Planet Wheeler Foundation
Pink Umbrella Foundation
Save the Children Hong Kong through Save the Children in Cambodia
Sovereign Art Foundation
Swiss Philanthropy Foundation (SPF)
Weldon UK Charitable Trust
World Childhood Foundation