Cambodia is a great place but is still struggling to recover from the effects of the war in Vietnam, the rise and subsequent reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge and the invasion by the Vietnamese Army. All these events left Cambodia a country in extreme poverty and also in danger from unexploded ordinance and land mines.
This aside , we would thoroughly recommend Cambodia as a travel destination. The amazing Ankor Wat and surrounding temples and friendly locals make it a great place to visit. Tourism is the back bone of the Cambodian economy, and we would encourage others to volunteer here as a rewarding way of helping others.
We volunteered at Trailblazer Foundation, through a volunteer organisation called Globalteer, making water filters and delivering them into villages to provide safe drinking water. Other projects supported by Globalteer include teaching English in non-government organisation schools, assisting in sports programs and wildlife sanctuaries.
While we were in Siem Reap we visited Kantha Bopha (Jayavaraman 7) Children’s Hospital. It was founded by Dr Beat Richner and is the largest children’s hospital in the world, providing free medical care for some of the poorest people in the world.
Families travel large distances from remote villages to be treated by highly trained and qualified staff, the majority Cambodian. All staff are paid well by Cambodian standards as a safeguard against the corruption that would otherwise be prevalent. Dr Beat Richner has a free cello concert to promote the work of the hospital, asking for blood donations or money or both, to prevent what he calls the genocide of children.
Security at the hospital is very tight but we were able to get in as we were going to give blood. We explained to the nurse that we had baby clothes from Baby Teresa to donate to the maternity ward for mothers who were unable to buy baby clothes for their children.
Although we were unable to visit other areas of the hospital, when she saw the clothes, she dashed out of the room and returned a short while later with the doctor in tow. They posed for the attached photo assuring us the clothes were greatly appreciated, and would be delivered to the maternity ward to distribute to those in need.
Thankyou Baby Teresa for helping out new born babies at Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Ian, Robyn and Rachelle Wheeler