Metta Karuna (MK), which means “Loving Compassion,” is a project of Jesuit Service Cambodia (JSC), a non-governmental organization that was founded in 1994. MK combines social and educational programs to strengthen rural communities in Cambodia. Currently it operates in five provinces: Phnom Penh, Kampong Thom, Battambang, Sisophon and Siem Reap.
The primary focus of MK is accompanying persons with disabilities (PwD) and those living in poverty. Most PwD in rural areas face formidable challenges. Often they are not competitive in the labour market, because of their limited education as well as their physical condition. Another reason for their poverty is a belief, common in Cambodian society, related to the concept of “karma.” People tend to consider the condition of PwD to be the result of their sins from a previous life and this can lead to societal neglect.
The social programs of MK in the province of Siem Reap aim to raise the quality of life of PwD and their families through such initiatives as providing and maintaining wheelchairs, building houses using traditional materials, improving water and sanitation infrastructure, and assisting with health care and income-generation. The educational programs seek to improve the educational environment for children and teachers and to promote human rights and ecology.
Country Coordinator: Fr Oh In-don Francisco SJ; Project Coordinator: Ms. Srey Mom