Charity worker Ruth Golder in hiding
THE Sunshine Coast women behind an embattled Cambodian orphanage have gone into hiding after receiving several death threats.
Supporters of Bli Bli's Ruth Golder and her daughter, Tracey, say they are taking refuge in a safe house while the Cambodian Government investigates allegations they have mistreated children in their care.
Ruth Golder, 71, who has been lauded on the Sunshine Coast for her work with the street kids of Phnom Penh and has the support of several church groups, strongly denies the allegations against her Love In Action orphanage.
She is reportedly working with government officials investigating the claims.
She and Tracey, who also works at the orphanage, are said to be emotionally stressed but determined to resolve the matters and continue their work.
Family friend Rob McVey told the Daily: "They've had death threats, so they've moved into a safe house. They've got huge support.
"They've got support from the churches and they're doing okay, but the emotional side has taken its toll, surely."
The orphanage has been hit by allegations of child trafficking, beatings and food shortages, with authorities from the Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs stepping in to investigate.
Mr McVey, who is in regular contact with the Golders, said the allegations were "about 5000% out of proportion".
One allegation involved abuse of children who later ran away from the orphanage. However, The Phnom Penh Post newspaper quoted police as suggesting it was "not a big case".
"A few children had an argument over portions of rice, and a cook very slightly injured them," Police Chief Pol Pithey, of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection squad, was quoted as saying.
Tracey Golder used her Facebook page to encourage supporters to pray for them.
"Please don't hesitate to share our plight with all you know so they can pray," she wrote.
"It is regretful that people with a grudge have concocted a story to which you are now being exposed.
"All will be revealed in the not too distant future."