HPHAO - Hope for Persons with HIV/AIDS Organisation


Who are we?

Mr. El Sma El (who formerly worked with the Cambodian Organisation of Persons with HIV/Aids , COPHA), in cooperation with Mr. Billy Barnaart, and a group of interested individuals and organisations, founded HPHAO in January 2002. Mr. El Sma El has since become the Executive Director of HPHAO. The organisation was registered with the Ministry of Interior in March 2002.

Since that time, HPHAO is supporting people and their families infected and affected by HIV/Aids. The support consists of the following two segments:
HPHAO has founded three childcare centres in communities in the surroundings of Phnom Penh. Ideally around 300 children receive daily education, two meals a day and care while their parents are working. In this way the children are prevented from wondering and begging on the streets. Despite of poverty and illness they are given a chance of a childhood and an education.

Additionally HPHAO provides home based care to families. HPHAO is supporting families to cope with HIV/Aids and supplying necessary medications. If necessary they will be brought in contact with healthcare institutions.

HPHAO is unique in being an organisation run mainly by Cambodians, several of them are infected with HIV/Aids and the organisation has been successful in attracting a number of people who are HIV positive to work voluntarily on projects.



"Improvement of the Quality of Life of Persons Living with HIV/Aids"

The purpose of HPHAO is to be a sustainable organisation run partly by people with HIV/Aids and shall provide resources to people with HIV/Aids and organisations working on HIV/Aids issues in order to promote the full participation of people impacted with this disease in social, cultural, religious and economic activities of the Cambodian society.



  • Promote access of Cambodian people with HIV/Aids to community care services, training, education and employment opportunities.
  • Assist in the development of policies and recommendations to improve programmes and services for people with HIV/Aids through action-oriented research.
  • Train persons with HIV/Aids to manage all aspects of the organisation.
  • Investigate other possible activities for the organisation, which will serve persons with HIV/Aids either through income generation, community development or advocacy.
  • Advocate in the society to protect the rights of people with HIV/Aids and to promote and guarantee equal rights. 
  • Guarantee equal access to proper health services and adequate social services for people with HIV/Aids.
  • Build up community-based services for Cambodians with HIV/Aids and secondary victims, e.g. orphans whose parents died from Aids.
  • Provide market support and a venue for people with HIV/Aids to sell and display their products to increase their income.
  • Provide a small venue for meetings, seminars and discussions on HIV/Aids issues.


Organisational structure

The management team of HPHAO consists of the Executive Director, Programme Manager, Financial Manager and the Advisor. Decisions are made by the Executive Director in consultation with the Advisor.

Executive Director: El Sma El
Programme Manager of HPHAO: El Rosaly
Operational Manager: Tanya Cunningham
Board members: Francois Courtel, Govert van den Wittenboer, Mem Sophal
International Advisor: Billy Barnaart


Present Activities

The spread of HIV/Aids is likely to have a devastating impact on future social and economic development of Cambodia. HPHAO, in recognizing the implications of the epidemic, is therefore endeavouring to promote services in poor communities aimed at enhancing education and knowledge amongst the most vulnerable of families and encouraging their full participation in society.  

Therefore following projects were enhanced:

  1. Home Based Care to HIV/Aids infected persons and their families
  2. Micro Business Trial Project
  3. Awareness and Advocacy on all kind of Aids related issues
  4. Referring of HIV/Aids patients
  5. Child Care Centres
  6. Future Projects

More information about the projects can be found here.