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Building A Home And Making A Difference

In my last blog I spoke about Srey Mey and the conditions that she and her family have to live in. Her house was too small for them all to live in and they had to sleep on the floor of their neighbors house.

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With a donation of money we were able to provide materials to build them a new and more suitable home. Nothing like we are used to in The Western World but it was enough to make a world of difference to them. Being on stilts it means that when the floods come( as they are beginning to now in Phnom Penh) they will not have to move else where. In fact their house has been built just in time and they can enjoy the comforts of their own home and not worry about getting flooded.

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Choosing the Materials

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The initial amount of money was not quite enough to do the job properly so with a little more money they were able to buy metal sheets for the walls. So it may not look too impressive to  most of us but this small donation( maybe £120 ) has made a huge difference to one family. The mother will get up at 3.00 am to go to the market to buy the best fruit and vegetables she can to sell them on. Later in the day she will collect plastic bottles to sell for re-cycling as will her daughter in the morning before she goes to school. They certainly didn’t choose this life…..

Sreymey Gets Her New Bike

Sreymey didn’t have to wait long to get her bike. It was purchased on Saturday, and cleaned and delivered on Sunday. To give it a test drive I rode it to her house which is about 4 miles from where I live. The wheels stayed on, and so did I ,the only problem being that the bell did not work,but not to worry.

...yes, hard work and effort !

…yes, hard work and effort !

She was not at home when I arrived but one of the neighbors called her mother and they soon came. While I was waiting I was asked to join them for lunch which consisted of a can or two of beer and meat and vegetables and other “healthy” foods, although I am not too sure what they were. So I played safe and stuck with what I knew…Angkor beer; well I didn’t want to upset my stomach….

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The bike is a little big for her as you can see but she can still ride it and loves it…..P1060963 P1060964   She will also get an amount of money each week for a year which is a tremendous help to her and her mother who probably have to try and live off less than $5 (£3) a day to support mum and four children. As they say a little can go a long way and the bike and donation of money will hopefully help Sreymey fulfill her ambition of one day going to University.P1060980                                                   Happy Faces……Happy Days

Giving Rice, Shelter And Making Friends

So the village was flooded and help was needed. Well not so much help as basic needs – food and shelter. People did not have food to eat and many certainly didn’t have sufficient shelter….Can you believe that people do not have enough food to eat in this country and in this day and age ?

So for the last few Sundays a few of us have been visiting and giving rice to the hungry and tarpaulins for shelter to those who need them…which are many. The rice is bought from a supplier and put into 2kg bags ( nearly 500 bags have been given out ) .

Rice is weighed into 2 kg bags

Rice is weighed into 2 kg bags

Ten bags into a big bag

Ten bags into a big bag

Rice and tarpaulins are put into a tuk tuk

Rice and tarpaulins are put into a tuk tuk

It is then, like everything here, put into a tuk tuk, along with the tarpaulins for shelter, to be transported to the slum which is about two miles away. When we arrive we then put it all into boats to take it to those who need it. The first boat will give rice to those whose houses are flooded along the way. It probably takes about 10 minutes to get to the end of the flooding where we off load and then distribute the rest of the rice and tarpaulins.

Coming in to dock

Coming in to dock

It is nice to be welcomed but at the same time you realise what a sorry government this country has that would leave its people to starve and offer no help to these lovely people. But anyway that is why we are here….to give something back to those who are unable to help themselves.

The supplies given were nowhere near enough..we just didn’t have the money, but they did make a difference…and we had fun. We all made new friends and will go back again next weekend to give what we can and help where we can. It is becoming part of our weekly routine and something we all look forward to.

We named this lady Eve. She stood under a tree with a few branches and a few more leaves and joked   that this was her home....it was no joke.

We named this lady Eve. She stood under a tree with a few branches and a few more leaves and joked that this was her home….it was no joke.

Eager crowds gather for food and shelter

Eager crowds gather for food and shelter

..and they STILL keep smiling..

..and they STILL keep smiling..

Again it is with great thanks to a generous donation from someone back home on the Isle of Wight that has made most of this possible. They have enabled us to give rice, shelter …..and make a few friends along the way.

Giving Hope, Opportunity And A Future……

…all this for just £56. That is how much it can take to change someone’s life and again it is due to the generosity of one person back home who has given money to help those who are desperately poor here in Cambodia.P1030983

This money will pay for Poen’s education for two years in a state school. Her family are incredibly poor due to no fault of their own. She is 18 years old. They do not live in good conditions but  Poen and her mother work extremely hard to get by…that is all that they do, they survive one week till the next. They are good, honest and hardworking people, like most in this world….. but have been given a bum deal. They shut up and get on with it. They do not moan or get angry. They are very gentle and humble…and teach me a lot about tolerance and acceptance.

Poen has not been able to go to school for the last year as her family have not been able to afford it. Instead she has been looking for work to earn a bit of money to help herself and her family.With the money donated Poen can get a good education and go on to better herself in life…just as we all have the opportunity to do in most of the Western World.

There are thousands like her here in Cambodia who just need a little help and support to be given a chance of Hope, Opportunity and A Future….