During my time in Cambodia it was an absolute pleasure to meet with old friends again from one of the slums in the south of Phnom Penh. The conditions in which they live are unbelievable and I always come away wondering how people with so little can be so happy…..especially the children.
I was given some money to use by a benefactor from the Isle of Wight to help those in the slums in whatever way was thought best. The needs are many so we have to be quite discerning as to where the money goes. One family that we decided to help needed a new house…..so a new house was built. There are eight in the family with the sisters and brothers all quite close in age.
So their old house was taken down and the builders started to build the new house. It shouldn’t take long to build, maybe 2 or 3 days and this soon became a focal point for the village. As you would expect people asked why this family was getting a new house and could they have one as well? Yes, it would be nice to help everyone here but there is only so much money at the moment and this family were in a slightly worse situation than most with their house not being big enough and being on the side of the lake there were plenty of gaps in the floor and walls for the children to fall through….! All said and done the whole house cost less than £165. Hopefully this will be just the first.
All this work has been co-ordinated for me by a lady named Chanthy. I am in the process of setting up a charity so that people will be able to sponsor a child from these slums to go to one of the best schools in Phnom Penh. Education is the only way out of the slums for these children.I needed to find someone to co-ordinate things here in Phnom Penh and Chanthy is just the person. She has a Masters Degree in Science in Education specialising in Community Development attained at Asean Social Institute in Manilla, Philippines and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology attained at the Royal University Phnom Penh. She has worked for Cambodian Children’s Fund which is one of the most respected charity organisations in Cambodia. Her input would be more than just liaising with the school but with her qualifications she would be able to help and support families and individuals with needs in this slum village.