Founded in 1994 in Phnom Penh as a local outreach project for street children, Friends-International rapidly expanded its operational scope to encompass the entire South-East Asian region as well as Honduras, Mexico and Egypt. Since its creation, the organization has worked tirelessly to assist marginalized children and youth, from orphans and drug addicts to migrants and sex workers, especially in urban settings. In order to serve its target population, Friends-International runs five interlinked projects.
Friends Programs are focused on protection, reintegration, prevention and capacity building, with five programs in four countries currently reaching 25,000 individuals on an annual basis. The ChildSafe Network is a joint advocacy and service initiative that aspires to educate travelers and local communities whilst providing direct outreach to at-risk children and youth. As a means to not only provide practical training opportunities to disconnected youth, but also support the overall sustainability of the organization and its partners, Friends-International also runs a number of social businesses, from hospitality to trades and crafts. Ensuring a truly global perspective, Friends-International has leveraged its expertise and experience to establish the CYTI Alliance – a worldwide network aimed at sharing the best practices and developing coordinated awareness – raising campaigns.