Friends of KaKot:

Who we are?

The initiators of Friends of Kakot are Marian and Marcel de Vries, a newly retired Dutch couple from Limbricht . Both have over 44 years of work experience: Marcel in business and the non-profit sector; Marian in socio-cultural work and secondary vocational education.

Additionally, both are long standing volunteers for third world aid organizations and regular visitors and representatives for projects in third world countries. Such a wealth of personal experience brought with it questions:  was the money donated money always spent as intended? Did it produce measurable results? Were the targeted recipients happy with the results?

With more time in retirement to look for a better way Marian and Marcel are now fully committed to putting their effort and experience towards improving the situation in Kakot.

This will be based on a clearer insight into the issues of the village as provided in their meetings with the chief, the villagers of Kakot and the social worker Mr. Phalla Sao (Msc).

The intention is therefore to provide a direct, visible aid:  transparent, and small-scaled yet integral to providing real solutions. Together with an initial budget to fund the start-up of activities, this led to the foundation of Friends of Kakot.

Why Cambodja?

Marian and Marcel have been aware of the problems of Cambodia for many years but this was intensified by their visit in 2014 when they saw for themselves one of the poorest countries in the world trying desperately to recover from the atrocities of the Vietnam War (America dropped more bombs on Cambodia than on Vietnam) and  the ensuing genocide of the Pol Pot regime.


Mission is to give residents the responsibility to improve the living conditions and future opportunities of children and adults, using the sponsorship budget.

Objective: In 2017, Friends or Kakot want to refurbish primary school and purchase learning tools. There is also a kindergarten in the community center. We aim for optimal education ” SIMPLY THE BEST” , appropriate to the circumstances there.

Furthermore, farmers are encouraged (financially) to grow other, more profitable crops. For this purpose, the village’s destination plan must be changed.


“We want to give direct, integral support to Kakot, help the villagers to attack the situations that hinder the development of the community and create a special and better future for the children,” they say.

“Moreover, we want to execute all of that in a transparent way. We thereby promise to publish information on all projects including budget and planning on the website. By doing so, sponsors can follow the progress.

“Via the website it is also possible to ask questions to the social worker, Mr. Phalla who is on a daily basis present in the village and a planning and executor of the projects, together with the Chief of Kakot.”

Mr Phalla will frequently discuss developments with the village council and, if required, adapt the planning.  As could be expected Marian and Marcel have  frequent and open communications with Mr. Phalla.

Our local team

The Village Council

Mr. Phalla Sao

Background and target group

The village of Kakot is part of the Sombok commune situated in the Kratie province in north-eastern Cambodia and 200 kilometres from the Vietnamese border.  In 2009, the Cambodian government redistributed the land in the ‘Social Land Concessions plan(SLC)’.

As part of this ruling each family received a piece of land of 30 x 40 meters in size and designated for four houses. Also for farming each family were allocated 2-3 hectares’ land. Unfortunately, this land is without access to water and is positioned 5-10 kilometres from the family homes. In total, the village has 14 water wells, 14 ponds, 2 small lakes, 1 market hall, 1 pagoda and 1 school with 5 classrooms.

Target group.

In Kakot there are predominantly poor families. The 293 families account for 1451 persons. At this moment 318 children go to the public school, where there are five teachers. A typically family earns $ 3-5 per day. There are many socio-emotional problems including poverty, alcohol and drugs addiction and health problems.

Issues of Kakot

In the social land concessions, the land has been redistributed amongst the poorest and landless farmers. Unfortunately, the infrastructure is not ideal, so that farmers cannot use their land, for example, the Mekong river is 15 kilometres away from providing natural irrigation.

In contrast, the rainy season makes growing crops difficult because of flooding. The crops the farmers grow are rice and cassava, easy to grow but providing little profit. In this rainy season parents mostly live on their farmland along with their families which means

children have to take care of their little brother or sister so they cannot go to school.

This village has therefore been chosen because of these

circumstances – resulting in an income (far under the poverty line) of around $ 100 per month – and the real opportunity to make things better.

What do we want to achieve

Give the villagers a chance to build a reasonable future so they are financially supported by sponsorship money with hired in expertise as and when required, the starting point being the community under the leadership of the Chief and social worker (and their personal capacities) remaining responsible for the development of Kakot.