Steph and Tony's Trip to Cambodia

As you may or may not know we sponsor two beautiful girls in Cambodia. My sponsorship includes education, Medical Care and Food. We have skype sessions, write cards to one another and have an amazing relationship. Thorn Sok Neng is 9 years old and I have been sponsoring her since she is 3 years old. She continues to overcome obstacles in her life and the Cambodian Children’s Fund has worked very hard to keep her safe. 2 years ago I added to my Cambodia family with an older girl named Sorith Sokheng. She is almost 18 and about to finish High School! She is an orphan and is an absolute love! She lives at the facility which provides her an amazing clean living environment.  

Both Girls have been in contact with me through email, cards and skype over the years. It has been incredibly rewarding to have them in my life. Every Skype begins with the question - "When are you coming to Cambodia?" Every time we answer "No" it is a heart break for all of us. We talk about how far it is and how time is needed to get all the way there. 

Tony and I got a gift early this Christmas when we found out that we had an extended Holiday through the first week of January which we immediately thought that we can go to CAMBODIA! We have just booked our tickets, our itinerary is complete. We have 3 days with the girls which we are so excited about.  Our visits will include tours of the facilities and the schools and local shopping sprees and excursions! After our visit in Phnom Penh we then decided to do our official honeymoon. We are flying to Angkor Wat for sunrise New Years at the Temple and a few days or R&R before leaving for Hong Kong and then home! 

Many of our wedding guests asked what they could give us for our wedding and we simply did not want anything. While we continue to get asked what they can give even with our refusal of gifts, we have been encouraged to post the Go Fund to help fund the trip but more importantly - fund the girls for the next few years. We will be bringing gifts to them as well as some supplies and we are also bringing gifts to all the people that are devoting their lives to the school and the Children. The girls also have friends that will come along with us and we will be gifting things to them as well! 

Cambodia is one of the world's most impoverished Countries. Specifically in Phnom Penh where we sponsor our children. The situation can be quite bleak for both girls and boys. Most of the children at the Cambodian Childrens Fund are found as garbage pickers in the city's dump. Young Barefoot children in rags picking through waste for money instead of going to school is a horrible site. One that Scott Neeson (CCF's FOunder)  could not get out of his head. In about 2005 he started the CCF adjacent to the dump to provide education, clothing, health care and food to these children. Starting with just over 50 children he has now over 1000 children in the program and has High School Graduates! 

Today the CCF thrives with a new built High School and facilites where the  children are taught trades so that they can continue on to get proper jobs when they graduate!

People always ask me "Why Neng and Why Cambodia".  Years ago when I was invited to the fundraiser for CCF - I met Scott Neeson immediately and he pulled a photo of Neng out of his pocket. He told me they had just pulled her off the dump at 3 years old and she needed help. 

It was a no brainer. I committed to her until she is 18. 

Now with the addition of Sorith and that Neng is 9 years old, it feels like a perfect time to visit these angels!!

Even with just the emails and skypes - it is still amazing how we know our girls.  We know when they are having good days or bad days or When they are feeling inspired or helpless. The CCF and I are in constant contact about their health and their development and I could not be more proud of their accomplishments including speaking English! 

This is a dream come true! We are leaving December 26! 

Any little gift will count and go towards the girls and their sponsorship and those I am bringing or donating to the school. 

Thank you so much for helping us out on this! 

We are truly thankful and blessed to have this opportunity - to have these girls and to be able to visit Cambodia under such support from our friends and family. 

Much Love, 

Stephanie and Tony
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Organizer

Stephanie Julia Bargas 
Organizer
New York, NY
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