I created a Global Humanitarian EDGE project to help an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia called the Cambodian and International Children Friend Organization (CICFO). My husband Holden speaks Cambodian and has known the orphanage owner Ming Tevy for years. We were able to get in contact with Ming Tevy and get specialized donations to meet the orphanage’s needs. We took the trip in July of 2012.
During the month before our trip, Holden and I gathered monetary and humanitarian donations from the community in Cedar City, Utah and our family. Holden and I carried the physical donations with us on our flight to Cambodia. We spent the first day in Phnom Penh with Miny Tevy utilizing the monetary donations to buy bulk amounts of rice, noodles and additional needed supplies. We piled a motor taxi, called a Tuk Tuk, full of supplies. When we arrived at the orphanage the children were very eager to see us and surprised that Holden could communicate with them. The state of the orphanage was clean and organized, though very humble. The children looked well clothed and taken care of. They were very welcoming and kind to us. Before we left they children sang several LDS songs in Cambodian and English.
Holden and I were able to raise enough funds to feed the thirty one children at the orphanage for an entire month. In addition, we were able to contribute dental and medical supplies for the orphanage’s needs. The Happy Factory in Cedar City donated 100 of their handmade wooden toys as well. The toys were a huge hit with the kids and they loved having more than one toy to play with. My time in Cambodia has made me more appreciative of my life in the United States. I’ve realized how big a difference I can make on my own. A small amount of U.S. currency can go a long way to help in a third-world country. I consider my project a huge success!
I was so impressed by the willingness of Ming Tevy and those who run the orphanage. To be responsible for the care of children of all ages is daunting to say the least! I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to help this small community on the other side of the world, in what feels like such a small way. I hope Holden and I will be able to visit the orphanage and see the children again.