Many shades of grey

From old people's associations in Cambodia to baby bonuses in Singapore, Asian societies are tackling the issues arising from population ageing.

Not far from Angkor Wat lies a village of wooden homes where 19 year-old Pa Kim San stands out among the other residents. As the treasurer of the local older people's association (OPA), the young Cambodian brings youthful energy to the mission of caring for the grey-haired community.

Ms Kim San works in Kan Chorn Kuy village, named after the kuy trees that grow around the village pond, where the scenery is dramatically different from the famed archaeological attractions and bustling downtown night market in Siem Reap. It's just 38 kilometres away from the country's biggest tourist attraction but it may as well be in another world, reached only after a bumpy ride along dusty, potholed roads.

But the sense of community is strong in Kan Chorn Kuy, thanks to the presence of the OPA, a Cambodian programme that has taken root in hundreds of other villages as a way to meet the challenges of helping the growing population of elderly citizens. 

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