Living in the light – the gift of giving By Lisa Corser

In this crazy, beautiful world we live in, most of us complain of being time poor, struggling to find a healthy work/life balance. We work hard, some of us play hard but in the Western developed world, even though it can be stressful, we live pretty indulged, blessed lives.

I got to thinking recently just how lucky I am and grateful I feel to have been privileged enough to live in a developed Country where food, shelter, water, health care, education and a good quality of life are a given.

It made me think further of how I could give back and be of service in some small way, for the many gifts and blessings life has given me.

My dear friend Deb, invited me to attend an event held in Perth recently for the Cambodian Children’s Fund, run and founded by Scott Neeson. Scott left a lucrative movie career in Hollywood some 12 years ago to start this impressively run Children’s fund.

Scott said a chance trip to Phnom Penh’s garbage dump, Steuny Meanchey, radically changed the direction of his life forever. The garbage dump was home to thousands of orphaned and abandoned children, living a hand to mouth existence, with no education and living in a highly vulnerable state.

Scott felt particularly protective for the children of Cambodia as after Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, much of the family unit in Cambodia was decimated. Many children were left orphaned. Parents were murdered and children were left, often at best, with one remaining grandparent to care for and feed them. For most children, education was simply out of the question.

Today CCF cares for over 2,200 children and has received awards from the House of Commons to Qatar for innovation and education. The results speak for themselves with school absenteeism cut from 45% to 3.7%. 150 of the students who have been educated through CFF are now in University.

scott-neeson-founder-of-the-cambodian-childrens-fund

Scott Neeson – Founder of the Cambodian Children’s Fund

One of the things that impressed me the most about CFF is their financial responsibility and transparency. CFF has been recognized by the worlds leading charity watchdog – charity navigator – by being awarded a 100% rating, which was awarded to only 51 charities out of 8,000.

The Cambodian Children’s Fund is an effective, meaningful and selfless charity.

So how can you get involved? You can sponsor a child. By paying AUD $150 per month you afford a child access to an award winning education program, nutrition and safe shelter and family support, medical care for an entire family and housing, saving funds and debt re-financing for eligible families. That works out to $33.00 per week, which can directly change a whole family’s life for the better.

You have high contact with you sponsor child by email via a translator about once per month.

I have just begun sponsoring my little boy, Vahya. I never had a son and it is with great joy and commitment I begin this journey with Vayha throughout his years of education and beyond. My whole family is excited and next year I plan to travel to Cambodia to meet him.

vayha-my-sponsor-son

Vayha – My sponsor son

All one off donations are greatly appreciated if you feel the commitment of sponsoring a child is not for you. Other areas of support by donation are community outreach programs, health care, leadership, childcare, child protection unit and vocational training.

In Australia you can contact, Tessa Lines, Cambodian Children’s Fund, on +61 402331444 or +61 02 93808822 or tessa@cambodianchidrensfund.org or www.cambodianchildrensfund.org


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