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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cambodia: Chan’s ‘Look-You-In-The-Eye Confidence’



















A North American-based member of our staff recently traveled to Cambodia. The last time he’d been in the country, he was assisting the film crew that annually donates their professional services to create the films showcasing our work with the poor.

One of the families depicted in that year’s film, ‘The Journey of a Promise’, was headed by a woman named Chan (shown above). In the film, her extremely harsh existence is on display as she and her children eat the thin rice gruel that constitutes their main daily meal.

Chan was one of the first people that our staff member wanted to visit. Inspired by what he saw, he wrote this email to the film crew:

“I am just back from Cambodia. I am always interested to see how the individuals we show in our films are doing.  My first field visit was to Chan's family and her home and community (from the 2009 film). Her life and that of her family have really improved!

A well and now a safe and plentiful and close-by water supply (shared with other nearby families).  Garden and nutrition from vegetable crops, and new income from produce sales.  Participation in a Self Help Group and all the social capital that comes from that. Raising livestock (her own cow from the Cow Bank, and tending other people's goats).  She has now has an income from all of these activities.  Her husband is a more active contributor/participant in the family.  All her children are in school, including the 16 year old who gets to start in grade 2 or 3 (now that is one brave woman!), except the youngest who will start when she is old enough (but she wants to go NOW!).

The confirmation of all this good is the clear sparkle in Chan's eyes and the look-you-in-the-eye confidence that comes with the knowledge she is on a good path (and from all the interaction with the HOPE International Development Agency staff that has completely affirmed her).  That was a great moment for me to see that in her!

A few of my pictures attached. A big THANK YOU from me for all you do in support of what we together try to do with and for the poor.”


Seeing as you (dear Reader) might be one of those people who were moved by Chan’s story to give towards families like hers back in 2009, we figure the ‘thank you’ applies equally to you! We hope the update is as encouraging to you as it is to us.