Siem Reap is so touristy now that you are somewhat insulated from the poverty and other issues as tourist routes are kept clean and isolated. It was really hard to get a gauge as to what (if any) the issues are.
At times you would come across pockets of children begging or trying to sell you postcards and other trinkets. Kerrie refused to purchase anything from them because our concern was that parents were preventing these kids from going to school to exploit their cuteness factor to sell goods. How real this is I do not know but you would see parents pushing their kids out towards us. Kerrie would hand out sweets and pens (for school) to the kids instead.
We did a Quad Bike Tour that took us around some of the back roads and outskirts. Here you did get more insight into how they lived. Was was great was the number of kids that came up and waved to us, all excited and very cute.
All the kids we saw were beautiful and made the most of what they had. I saw one boy who had made a car out of a plastic bottle by pushing through sticks for axels and using bottle caps for wheels.
After living in Asia I think our kids have a greater appreciation that there is poverty but still struggle to understand why it is so. Emily at times still thinks they could choose not to be poor.