February 2014 Cambodia Trip
March 7, 2014

This most recent trip to SE Asia was a particularly long and busy one. So, I’ll report on it in three separate sections — one for Cambodia, one for Myanmar, and one for Thailand. Here’s the Cambodian segment.

In Siem Reap I connected with my good friend Jana Stanfield and joined in with a group of good-hearted people from Atlanta led by David Ault. We first visited the Future for Khmer Children (FKC) school where we able to participate in the dedication ceremonies for the new Art Berg Technology Center largely funded by our Together We Can Change The World (TWCCTW) group. It was an absolute delight to see the new facility, complete with its four classrooms where the 230 children attending that school will have an opportunity to study with state of the art computer systems and related learning materials. Here’s a look at two of the four new classrooms. The photo on the left was taken during the dedication ceremony. On the right, David Ault stands tall in a classroom for the smaller kids.

We’ve got a bit more work to do, however. We’re still about $5,000 short of funding all the necessary technology. Any ideas for helping out here will be warmly welcomed.

After the dedication ceremonies we traveled out to several villages to see first-hand the fresh water wells funded by David Ault’s group. I’m amazed at the difference in the lives of villagers that a $300 well can make. (“Small change” for us. A profound change in living conditions for them.)

Here are a couple of village scenes along with two pictures showing one of the new wells in operation and in contrast with the old water supply.

The following day I once again visited with Sam Flint to see his new facility for the Anjali House. Here they provide two meals per day and a half-day of school for 100 local, impoverished children. While there we were able to make a financial contribution to complete the funding for a water filtration system that will provide a ready supply of safe drinking water for the kids and the staff. With limited resources Sam is doing a fine job of caring for these children and giving them a shot at a better life.

He’s invited me back to do some management coaching for his staff. I should be able to work that into my schedule when I return in May.

On my last day in Siem Reap, along with my good friend there, Robert Lucas, I ventured about three hours northwest – on a very badly flood-damaged road – to the town of Battambang. There we visited with Patrik Roux, the founder and director of a marvelous facility called AVEC, caring for over 50 at-risk kids. Living there in his “boarding facility” (clearly not an orphanage) these kids attend local schools and learn the social skills they will need for successful and independent lives. Patrik and his Cambodian wife have built a beautiful — and soon to expand — facility here. Clearly they are worthy of our support, which I will attempt to arrange during a future visit.

The facilities are beautiful Here’s a couple of views.

Patrik and his wife take great care of the kids. I could see first-hand how happy they were. And, having had lunch with them I can also report that they are quite well fed.
The future here looks promising. With funding help from a German donor, new facilities are under construction and plans are being made for expanding the services AVEC offers including some practical job skills training essential for a self-sustaining life.
After a very full and rewarding three days in Cambodia Jana and I headed off for our first ever trip into Myanmar. There we’ll be joining our long-time friend, Treasure Shine, and linking up with the TWCCTW Group where we’ll be visiting several projects serving the needs of underprivileged women and children. More about that segment of the trip to follow shortly.

Life is good … at least for some of us it is. Others need a bit of help — and together we can provide them with exactly that