Color photos by
Kia Woods

B&W photo by
Laura Smith

© dwij 2001
Return icon

Global Children grew from the seed of compassion that was planted in the heart of Laura Smith-Louisell during a trip to Cambodia in 1990 when she was just seventeen years old. During most of this initial 3-week sojourn she was in Phnom Penh, the capitol of Cambodia, with much of that time spent visiting with the children living in the city's orphanages. Laura was so amazed that, despite their often desperate situations, these children seemed to be happy and, impressed with their "incredible resiliency," she fell in love with them. Eager to take some small part in the children's lives and hoping to make a difference in some way, Laura returned to Cambodia often, taking photographs of the children in often deplorable conditions, and lending a hand whenever possible.

Ten years later, in September of 2000, she founded Global Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the disadvantaged


Laura Smith-Louisell

As Executive Director of Global Children, Laura is a committed and caring young woman overseeing an organization that now provides not only traditional cultural and creative programs such as the performing arts program at Kompong Speu Orphanage, but also educational programs in hygiene and environmental awareness for the community, as well as literacy education, food, and basic medical care for the hundreds of children working at the Stueng Meanchey Dump in Phnom Penh.

Laura Smith-Louisell's story is both heartwarming and inspiring. A dream-seed, planted in the fertile soil of compassion, has taken root, grown, and continues to flourish, providing services and programs that support the emotional, educational, medical, and social/cultural well-being of children, families and communities around the world.

children and families of Cambodia and other locations around the world.

Global Children's first project, teaching traditional music and dance to a group of about thirty children, was at Kompong Speu Orphanage, which is about thirty miles from Phnom Penh. Children participating in this performing arts program are blossoming as artists, as well as developing a strong sense of pride in their skills and their culture.