by Mission Leader Karen Carrolan
Last February, participants came from all over the country to meet in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for an exciting adventure planned by Global Legacy Programs, the same organization that has also taken us to Peru and Guatemala missions in the past. Our humanitarian mission was to transport and deliver a large donation of medical supplies to two of the four charities we planned to visit and to decide which of these charities should receive a total of approximately $2.000 included in our mission fees.
A New Day Cambodia was founded by two men from the Chicago area that represent several major Chicago sports teams. On a visit to Phnom Penh they were taken to the garbage dump and were appalled to witness the squalor in which children work to help their families. The foundation gives those children whose families still live in the garbage dump a place to learn and grow physically and mentally while their parents receive $12.00 monthly to compensate them for lost earnings. We delivered requested mosquito nets, towels and toiletries. We also visited the garbage dump where the flip flops we brought were eagerly received by the children who frequently step barefoot upon harmful material.
A Place of Rescue, where half the medical supplies were delivered, is a wonderful community that serves those affected in any way by AID. After a parent dies, the children remain and receive an education and housing on site in family settings. Classrooms, library, gardens and playgrounds give those living there a chance for a better life as well as medical and emotional support.
We delivered the requested medical supplies to Daughters of Cambodia, a remarkable organization that helps young girls rescued from the sex trafficking industry. The girls’ lives are transformed through a range of therapeutic and social support as well as a chance to develop new skills that equip them with employment security. We took advantage of their cafes fabulous food and shopped till we dropped in their boutique prior to relaxing at their spa for manicures/pedicures. You can visit their shop without making the long voyage by shopping at: http://www.theshopforchange.com/seller/daughters-cambodia/product.
Feeding Dreams is a relatively new organization that allows the children in the area to join together when they have finished their Khmer schooling and learn English, play off the streets and get a good meal. We paid for the meals on the day of our visit and brought sacks of rice and other staples as we were told the budget only allowed for one good meal a week. The bulk of hygiene items were delivered here and so were soccer balls that were promptly put to good use.
In the end, we were so impressed with what each of these worthwhile charities is doing that we decided to divide the funds equally among them. After work came also a lot of fun and interesting experiences. We were able to soak in the history and visit sites like Angkor Wat that make Cambodia unique. We met many children and adults that touched our hearts and inspired us. We listened to many who expressed dreams and hopes for the future. If you should ever get to Cambodia and see a tuk-tuk driver wearing a Southwest Airlines t-shirt, make sure you say hi, he took very good care of us!
For more of Karen’s photos: http://s182.photobucket.com/user/klc1221/story/13079.
July 4, 2012
A place of Rescue is a village on the outskirts of Phnom-Penh, Cambodia. It is a home for terminal AIDS patients and their families and it is also an orphanage for children who survive their parents. We were able to provide a new motorcycle for the Tuk-Tuk that serves as transportation when residents need to go into town for doctor appointments or special courses. We will be spending a day a A Place for Rescue during our January 2013 Mission to Cambodia. Please contact us by eMail at missions@Global-Legacy.org if you would like to be advised when a definite date for the trip has been set.
June 29, 2011 Message
By Mission Leader Janet Dexter
As a land not too many years this side of some very trying historical events such as the Killing Fields, Cambodia has become one of the most wonderful South East Asia destinations. I taken several trips to this side of the world over the years, but I must say my impressions and fondness for Cambodia is one of the strongest I’ve felt. I think it has so much to do with the humble, warm hospitality of the Cambodian people.
I was traveling with a few friends/volunteers on this GLP first research trip to that country and, in keeping with GLP tradition of bringing school, medical supplies and other requested items, we made sure we all packed extra suitcases with these things.
One of the first places we visited was A New Day Cambodia where we were hosted by their program director, Annette. The mission of this non-profit is to provide shelter food and education to Cambodia’s garbage dump scavenger children. During our visit, Annette gave us a tour of the school which is in a very humble setting with dirt field and simple dormitories and classrooms. We spent the day with the children and taught them how to make balls by sewing together strips of fabric and stuffing them. Annette presented us with a grant proposal requesting funds for the purchase of new school uniforms for all 95 children and to pay the children’s families a small amount as compensation for their kids’ lost income. I am glad to report that GLP responded with a donation to cover the cost of shirts. pants/skirts, shoes and family compensation.
During our stay in Phnom Penh, we visited and delivered aid to some other important charities; we also shopped and ate in establishments that support their wonderful work.
One was the Friends Restaurant (ranked #1 of 120 things to do in Phnom Penh by Lonely Planet) and the partner Friends ‘N’ Stuff gift shop right next door. They are run by the Mith Samlanh Friends, an NGO providing street youth the training required for the hospitality industry and an improved future.
Another was Daughters gift shop that supported the work of the Daughters of Cambodia, a charity focused on changing lives for victims of human trafficking in Cambodia. They had many educational materials in their space about their mission and also provided a wonderful array of fair trade products.
Circle Cambodia Sewing Cooperative Group. Check out this weblink to learn more about the five women in the cooperative and the story of their transformational journey to self sufficiency.
Bloom is a social enterprise established in Sept 2006 to provide fair-paying jobs to ten disadvantaged Cambodians. Recently Bloom was chosen to provide bags for an Amnesty International event. All Bloom profits go to the Cambodian staff and to growing Bloom, and ultimately, will become a workers’ cooperative, where workers own, manage, grow the business and share the profits.