In 2005, a group of photographers got together to promote photography and highlight humanitarian issues in Southeast Asia. It was important for them to also be able to give back and benefit the local community at the same time.
Anjali House began as a one-off dance troupe, led by Sangeeta Isvaran, and a photography workshop initiated by Magnum Photos photographer Antoine d’Agata. Through these activities, the children were encouraged to away from the streets, and after a week, they performed their dance routine and exhibited their photographs to an international audience. The success of these activities gave the children a sense of empowerment, pride and a sense of personal achievement.
Galvanized by the difference that first week made, the Angkor Photo Association was inspired to expand its help, and pledged to provide education and practical support to the children and their families. After a lot of hard work, Anjali House opened its doors in 2006.
The Sanskrit word ‘anjali’ translates to “offerings” in English. Anjali House therefore a house of offerings for local children in need. Today, the Cambodian NGO is a safe haven for more than 80 underprivileged children in Siem Reap. In addition to maintaining the children’s health and happiness, and providing them with both education and avenues of creative expression, Anjali House hopes to equip the children with skills and opportunities which will enable them to take control of their lives and build a better future.