Below is the initial story of how I decided to help raise money for this family, but now things have changed.
Since last month's goal of raising $6000 to build a cottage for them and help with the mother's hospital bills, I've received two donations with a total of $120. I am very grateful for the two donors because anything helps. I've also donated my personal fund to help them and I fail to raise a higher amount from this campaign because I felt embarrassed asking people for money, even if I know this is for a good cause.
Now the mother has recently passed away, and the villagers came together to help build the frame for the house with whatever money they raised so far (See Picture).
Since I am making a trip there in two weeks, I've decided to pledge for a new goal of $500 to contribute to housing supplies and materials needed.
I believe in the spirit of this holiday season and that a few more kindhearted people will be willing to contribute a little to give this family some hope.
My Initial Story:
There's not a day goes by that I don't come across heartbreaking news feeds about families, children, elderly people of Cambodia pledging for help, some are literally on their last breaths begging for a few extra dollars a day to cover their medical bills. Yes, a few dollars which is the price of drive-through hamburgers for most of us, but to them, it's the price of living. The most recent news feed that brought tears to my eyes first thing in the morning was a mother who left home for manual labor work, returned to her broken home on the filed with no door, no wall, to find both her daughters raped and murdered. She cried until she was unconscious. There were endless stories...a woman who couldn't afford to pay for transportation to get to the hospital for labor and walked for miles and ended up giving birth on the road.....
Throughout the years, I reached out to strangers who dedicate their time and personal funding to go help people in need. Through them, I contributed what I can. Those incredible people raised what they can, traveled for miles on their days off to find those families who they believed they could make a difference. They gave the donations and sent me back pictures. To them, it's reassuring to prove that they gave 100% of the donation to the families, to me, it's the moment I know I've done something meaningful in life.
Today I am asking for help raising money for this family of 5. The mother Veasna is critically ill, her husband is disabled and can not work, their one son stayed at the temple as a monk, and the four other children stay home trying to find work to help the family. I came across an image of their oldest 12 years old daughter collecting local plants to sell at the market for less than $1 a day, to pay for food and medicine for her sick mother. I was touched by this image and got in touch with Srey Yan, a recent grad medical student who has been making numerous trips to visit the family and deliver the donations with her group of friends.
Upon my brief interview with her, she expressed that she has raised about $600 to put toward building them a small cottage since they do not have a proper home. She said her main reason was her concerns for the 12 years old daughter who just got raped. Yan believes a proper home for the children would prevent her from being raped in the future. This is also the mother's last wish concerning for her daughter's safety.
I promised to send her some money out of my personal saving, and I know that there has to be more I can do to help raise that $6 000 toward the hospital bills and building them a cottage.
Please contribute what you can, and I will be happy to share the progress/status of this project if needed.