Katherine Miccinilli, Churchwarden for Bruges and Church Council member writes about our parish appeal:
At one of our last church council meetings, I put forward a proposal for this year’s appeal: I asked the church to support the Foundation for Water and Education, Cambodia.
Why this? Well, this is because of the links that I have with this Foundation thanks to my mother’s involvement in its work.
This Foundation aims to support the poorest families in rural Cambodia (Siem Reap province). The government has 4 categories for poor people and the project is supporting the lowest two categories, i.e. the poorest-of-the-poor. The main type of support it gives is in the shape of wells. Clean water is, in fact, one of the most important basic needs that a human being can have; unfortunately, not all families have easy access to such a resource. Often family members have to walk long distances to have access or ask a neighbour or just go without. Now, the project has provided over 350 wells in the province which means that many of the poorest families have access to clean water in their “backyard”.
The project also tries to meet other needs and, in fact, provides bikes to children to enable them to go to school without having to walk long distances to do so; moreover, seeds and farming tools are also provided to families so that they can rely on their own produce for food, using water from their new well to irrigate their crops.
These are some of the main activities undertaken within the project; however, the core team forming the Foundation is flexible enough to help when needed in other ways: mentoring, supporting the international charity Days for Girls and, in exceptional situations, also by providing housing.
So in February I went to Siem Reap in Cambodia and visited some of the families supported by the project. It was a wonderful experience. Most of these families are so generous and welcoming. Again, isn’t it interesting how those who have the least in terms of possessions are also the least attached to such things? I include some pictures from my trip below. You can see how poor some of these people are, and the type of housing that some have – but there is also so much potential there! There are some entrepreneurial people who could play a domino-effect role in their villages, and by interacting with them and trying to address their needs, we hope to play a small part in that process.
Therefore, I would like to thank all those who donated to our appeal. We have managed to collect around USD 314. We will use this money to donate a well (USD 200), a bike (USD 45), two seed packs (USD 50), and one set of agricultural tools (USD 16).
For more information on the project, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!
Click on images to enlarge.