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Day 20 – A sustainable future

Yesterday I was part of a group of interested parties that were exercising the rights of free speech, a right we enjoy as part of our democratic government. Government representatives had travelled to the area to listen to the opinions of various parts of the community to understand first-hand the effect of a proposed development. I know there are some aspects of our governments that leave us speechless, however we are fortunate to live in a democratic country, warts and all.

The country of Cambodia in many ways still suffers from the tyrannical rule of the Khmer Rouge and rule of Pol Pot of the 1970s. To this day the development of the country is still hindered by corruption, poor education and income inequality. On a trip last year I observed ever so briefly the hardships and resilience of the Cambodian people.

Many charity organisations are working to Make a Difference to the people of Cambodia. While some provide loans to allow homes to have the very basic needs such as toilet installed there is one organisation that is focussed on skilling Cambodian people to support themselves. Very much like the proverb “give a hungry man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. They focus on the outcomes, not just the outputs.

Human and Hope’s mission is

“To empower Cambodians to create a sustainable future for themselves through projects focused on education, community development and vocational training.”

It is run entirely by Cambodian staff, committed to the breaking the cycle of poverty through education, vocational training and community support projects, with an Australian fundraising board that is committed to alleviating poverty in Cambodia.

Day 20 of the Advent Calendar for Making a Difference is Human and Hope Association. By making a donation you can make a difference in the lives of the Cambodian people and contribute to improving the impoverished conditions of living.

Your donation could provide a preschool program or English education to a Cambodian child, clean drinking water, food and sustenance for a University student through a scholarship program so they have the energy to work and study or a sewing program to earn an income. There are gifts you can purchase or just donate cash.

The smiles of the Cambodian people hold a special place in my heart. How about we create more smiles this Christmas season.

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A typical street scene, with a lone stallholder hoping for a small income

The smiles of some Cambodian women I had the pleasure to meet in 2017

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