The two main international relief agencies operating in Kampuchea have decided they should withdraw from the region because, they say, the crisis had ended.
LV AND PAN Street in Khao I Dang childrens refugee camp, Thailand
SV AND CU INTERIOR Children playing games (3 shots)
SV AND PAN FROM Cooking pot TO Women preparing food
SV AND PAN Children singing as they distribute cooked food to line of children (4 shots)
TV PAN CU Children eating with younger children being helped by older children (3 shots)
SV AND CU "House-mother" with her group of 10 children sitting on ground (3 shots)
LV AND CU Children filing into school (3 shots)
CU Teacher at blackboard with children watching (3 shots)
LV AND SV PAN Children learning to speak Khmer language (2 shots)
SV AND CU Children learning traditional dance (5 shots)
SV AND CU Relief agency workers interviewing children (3 shots)
SV AND CU One legged child looking at notice board of children with missing parents. Child walks away (4 shots)
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Background: The two main international relief agencies operating in Kampuchea have decided they should withdraw from the region because, they say, the crisis had ended. Meeting in Bangkok on Friday (7 November), representatives of the Red Cross and the United Nations Children's Fund, decided their joint mission should be suspended. The Red Cross plans to withdraw from the food distribution programme by the end of the year, and UNICEF wants to end its operation by April. In the meantime, the relief programme continues.
SYNOPSIS: This refugee camp near the Thai-Kampuchea border is called Khao I Dang, better known to relief agency workers by its initials, as KID. It's a fitting title for a camp set up to rebuild the lives of 15-hundred children orphaned by the Kampuchean war. The children have survived malnutrition and mine fields to reach the safety of the camp. Some had walked up to 250 miles (400 kilometres).
It took a long time to get the children singing. Some of them would not speak a word until they could learn to trust the family atmosphere of their new home.
The aim is to make the children interdependent and to restore confidence in a stable family lifestyle such as most of them once new. They're also taught to help the relief agency workers. The young refugees live in groups of ten under the care of a house-mother. The children here are meeting their new guardian for the first time.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, which is the controlling authority at Khao I Dang, is attempting to make the lives of the children as normal as possible, and that includes formal lessons in their own language of Khmer.
Above all, these refugee children are taught that their culture, although apparently in ruins, is vital to the survival of their race.
There's a strong and deliberate emphasis at the camp on preserving the song and dancing traditions of the childrens Kampuchean homeland.
One of the biggest tasks the relief agencies face at Khao I Dang is tracing the parents of the children. All are missing and most are presumes dead. The International Red Cross is compiling a background for each child. Some children face a future with overseas foster families. The remainder wait in the hope that somehow they will be reunited with their natural parents.