With the help of the Sustainable Cambodia Organisation (SC) I have selected two children. Khoen and Chhorn, to whom we would like to give the only chance for education, reading and writing and above all English. Here, too, English is the basic prerequisite for communicating with others and learning how to use computers. This sponsorship costs $ 150,- per year and provides access to computers, a school uniform and the necessary utensils.
Of course, I didn’t just leave the money there, but personally drove to the families and convinced myself that everything was as SC had described it to me. Shortly before I left for Phnom Penh, on the very last day, I visited little Chhorn. I can’t describe to you how sweet and unimaginably sweet this little girl is. Although my interurban bus left at 1 p.m., I went to the market in Pursat with her at 12 p.m., I (!) had to buy her her first shoes (pink flip-flops), something to wear (she only had a T-shirt and old shorts) and a toy. I am convinced that all of you would have become weak.
Date: December 2008
Having arrived here also a situation for goose bumps. The whole family including the neighbours comes together. Chhorn’s father can’t calm down anymore. Like last year, Chhorn is looking for the immediate proximity to me. She is very small and holds my hand as tightly and as often as she can. Her parents are not jealous, she and everyone present are happy for Chhorn. Chhorn was busy in school, we already know that from Mr.Poula. She should get another year of school. I get out a picture of Birgit (my dear cousin) and Heinz and explain that both of them want to take care of her in the future. The father loses his composure again and embraces and hugs me and then Endru. A few tears flow with the parents and the one or other also with us.
Chhorn is still too small to really be able to understand it correctly. Thank you Birgit and Heinz, I hope that you will stand here sometime.
I have promised Birgit and Heinz to go shopping with Chhorn, a promise I like to keep. Anyone who now thinks that the little one won’t get her neck full is on the wrong track. The only thing she wants is a new school uniform in the form of a little dress and a new blouse. O.K. That’s the way it should be. But there is something else, we notice. We ask specifically for her greatest wish, there comes a very quiet “bicycle”, aha a small bicycle it should be. The budget, which was made available by Birgit and Heinz, allows this easily, so why should I argue with the two, they will kill me, if I don’t fulfill “their chhorns” wish. But we don’t want to make it that easy for her, because she has very bad teeth, everything is crooked. So, first we visit the dentist.
Her first visit to the dentist in her life is also quite painful at that, she is very afraid to even sit on the chair. Even a light touch of her teeth seems to cause a lot of pain and tears. She holds my hand convulsively, we abort. At least one tooth has to be removed urgently and there is also a huge hole. A special appointment has to be made and the mother has to come with us. We pay together for today’s examination and the appointment for pulling and filling $ 10,- .
But the bicycle quickly removed the shock from memory. We choose one, the eyes of the children radiate. But now Chhorn still has a wish. She absolutely wants to have a picture frame to frame Birgit and Heinz.
Happy and proud we bring her back to the village. She doesn’t want to let me go, always reaches for the hand that tries to loosen. Unfortunately, we don’t have time, we have to go, but we leave the information about Birgit and Heinz there, which helps, not only Chhorn and her family, but also us.
Her father and mother were very happy about KHA’s support, but they did not expect it. Therefore, their joy was great and the tears plentyful, when Roland brought along the promise for our further support beside the very German Teddy Bear. We will support Chhorn until she has an education and finds a good way into life. Thanks to Mr. Meng we have the opportunity to have a lively email exchange with Chhorn and we are looking forward to every letter from her. She is a lovely girl. Her teachers attest her great will to learn and she is a great student. Chhorn takes great care of her siblings, friends and neighbours. Their well-being is important to her and she helps with joy wherever she can. She knows about the importance of a good education and she wants to prove herself worthy. She is wonderful. She is interested in the colors of dragonflies in Germany, how snow looks like, informs us that Cambodian girls also like to play football and how much she enjoys the school trips to the beautiful surroundings of Pursat. She is waiting for our granddaughter to visit her. She wants the trees to be protected and paints flowers over flowers on her letters. We want to accompany Chhorn as long as she needs us and we are honored that her family allows us to do so. We are proud and touched by her sympathy for our lives and have taken her very seriously. Unfortunately she has never expressed a wish despite all the inquiries about Mr. Meng, whom we can only thank very sincerely. Roland, this will be your job again next year. Chhorn is our beloved Cambodian daughter.
Explanation: Birgit and Heinz have target-orientated the money before the departure
Also this year we will visit them on the first day and ask the teachers of Sustainable Cambodia (SC). She is a young girl with good grades and a perspective for the future. She loves my cousin and her husband, although she has never seen them personally before. A picture of the two and all letters and emails are carefully stored and have been keeping the bond for over 3 years now. Through the constant email contact (in school the children are allowed to use the PCs) with Birgit, she has a reason and a chance to improve and practice her English.
Also this year Birgit and Heinz have given us some hundred dollars in addition. Beside the annual health check of Chansotherin we decide to do a check of the whole family, including grandmother. Ophthalmologist, dentist and blood test are on the agenda and afterwards, on behalf of Birgit & Heinz, an exact check of the domestic situation. The health check is urgently necessary. Neither the parents, nor the three siblings, let alone the grandmother, have ever been to a doctor.
At the dentist we unfortunately have to exclude her grandmother, she has chewed betel nuts all her life and her teeth are black as night. This construction site is certainly a bottomless pit and incalculable for us.
During our visit to the dentist, teeth are extracted and roots are treated in addition to working on various holes. At the optician the mother gets glasses and in the clinic the grandmother is treated for high blood pressure. Birgit and Heinz want to strengthen the backbone of Chansotherin – her family.
Now let’s take a closer look at her hut. The room in which the three girls sleep together is tiny and the floor has long openings about 5 cm wide. In addition to this, the entire rice supply of the family stands in this unimaginably small room. After all, they have a (!) blanket, but unfortunately no pillow. They simply lie on the floor, which doesn’t even deserve that name.
They have no closet, no mirror, no bed and no mosquito net. The roof is made of corrugated iron, but it has already been nailed somewhere else and has hundreds of holes. So, during the rainy season it continues to rain inside the hut. Six months everything wet – unimaginable.
We take the whole family and buy a cupboard, two mattresses, a mirror, a lamp and blankets, two mosquito nets, etc..
We also want them to grow their own fresh vegetables. The grandmother immediately agrees that the few square meters of free land between her two huts, which is completely littered, can be used. Under the condition that on the following day the whole property is free of any waste, plastic bags, etc., we put together our proven garden set, consisting of spade, hook, string, 2 watering cans and seeds for morning glory, salad, cucumber, etc.. They should sell the surplus vegetables in their small “kiosk” and buy seeds again.
At the end, we assign a SC employee to close the countless holes in the zinc roof with a silicone syringe and to provide a new kitchen roof.
Conclusion: Thanks to Birgit and Heiz our visit should not only have moved Chansotherin a lot. We are happy to be able to help four children and three adults in this way and to make my dear cousin and her husband happy.
Date: 01. December 2012
Of course, we will also visit the goddaughter of Roland Cousine/Mann Birgit and Heinz this year. At lunchtime we head home to Sutarin Chhorn. We find an apathetic looking girl. We talk to Sutarin’s mother and inquire about her state of health. According to her mother, Chhorn has been ill for more than three months. She complains about lack of concentration, listlessness and headaches. Unfortunately, the family lacks the financial means to have Sutarin medically examined and treated. The only way out to make her health more bearable was to take her out of school. This solution is not acceptable to us. We try to get to the bottom of the cause and contact a friend of ours. He is a doctor, he knows and follows the development of sutarin from afar. We measure the temperature, let her make certain movements and check the condition of her teeth. The first way leads to the dentist – four teeth have to be replaced in a girl of about twelve years of age. The second way leads to the dentist – we have her body thoroughly checked. She has worms and type. Typhoid fever is a bacterial infectious disease that can be fatal if left untreated. She gets antibiotics and feels much better after only a few days. Since we already have to go back to Germany, we cannot follow the recovery, but we are constantly kept up to date by Phalla from afar. BUT the next Cambodia trip is already planned and of course we will visit all long-term projects personally again.
The detailed costs are listed in the table below:
Project coordinates: 12.537481, 103.920394