As she was getting ready to leave the orphanage she was asked to fill out a survey about her family.
“I was shocked because they never asked me that,” said Eliza Dias.
Dias and her brother, Eloy, were adopted at the age of two.
They are now the children of eight orphanages in Belgium, France, Italy and the United States.
In all, there are 1,400 children at the orphanages, which are run by the Cambodian government and run by their private charities.
The families are supposed to come to the orphanaged homes to look after them.
One day, Eliza found out her mother was not with them.
“I had no idea how I ended up in this situation,” she said.
A few weeks after she left the orphanaging, Dias’ mother was killed in a car accident.
Her family was separated, and her sister died when she was just four years old.
“That’s when I knew it was time to go,” Dias said.
“They were always asking me to go back to school, to go to work.
I couldn’t take it anymore.”
Now the couple runs the orphanAGES charity, which is helping thousands of Cambodian children from around the world.
At the orphanAGEs, children live with adults, and the orphanagers have to make decisions for them.
They also have to look out for the children’s health and safety.
On a visit to a child welfare centre in Belgium this year, I was asked if I wanted to come visit.
When I got there, my mother, who is in her 80s, was waiting for me.
“How are you doing?” she asked me.
I told her I had been sick.
“Well, I’ll take care of you, I’m just going to have to take care now.”
Dias said she was glad to be able to help.
Children need protection, she said, and there is no one in charge of them.
But the children need a place to live and a roof over their heads.
It is one of the reasons why they are often referred to as “orphans”, the Belgian term for the term “orphan”.
“When I was younger I lived in a big house in Belgium,” Dios said.
“I had a big garden.
And I was very lucky because I had a lot of friends, and I had many friends.
And they would come and help me.”
The orphanages offer a chance to grow up.
But the work goes on.
In the United Kingdom, a British charity, the Migrants’ Relief Society, works with some of the orphaned children and their families.
This year alone, more than 7,000 children from across Europe received food parcels.
“We’re not talking about a million but we’re talking about some of those who are in the orphan centres, or those who live with their parents,” said Maria Pernia, the group’s director.
“And the children don’t get a normal life, so that’s why we’re trying to give them a real chance.”
Migrants and refugees often find their way to orphanages and their lives change dramatically when they are there.
“Some of the orphans are so traumatised by what they saw on TV, and when they see the news they feel the pain that’s been inflicted on them, so they are just completely traumatised,” Pernias said, speaking at a ceremony to mark the opening of a new orphanage in France, which opened in August.
“But I know that it is the orphanies that have been helping the children and giving them the chance to live a normal, happy life.”