After days of too much worry over an indescribably huge load of work, I have finally come back to my blog again. I want to go on talking about how one can contribute to social development of society or the country itself. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to reveal that one alone can’t do but together we make it a dream-come-true.
After spending four days at the provinces, I have now been amazed by Cambodian NGOs’ potential and robust work. The first NGO I met first and now admire is CABDICO, which has been domesticized and works maily with disabled kids with celebral palsy and polio in Siem Reap province. Their rehabilitation techniques are incredible because I never knew that it would take so much effort, patience and time to get a child with CP or Polio to be better that way.
For example, the first CP kid I met was only 3 years old but he could not do some basic things that kids at his age could do. The CABDICO staff went to his very poor parents every day and helped instruct them to exercise their baby. Not only the baby was helped but also the whole family. Of course, it’s true that the NGO got funding from other international donors, but what that matters is that they work so hard and so patiently to help other people in dire need. I spent so much time with the NGO staff, listening to them telling stories and after all watching them work.
After CABDICO, I met some staff from Friends International in Siem Reap too. How big the training centre was! There were a lot of kids and teenagers. I did some interviewing with two teenagers. These are disabled kids disabled in the legs who have to use prosthetic limbs. It made me learn that disabled people don’t need pity but motivation to start it on their own. They need to be independent to stop themselves from being so self-pity about their disability. Without an NGO to help, they could have turned out very depressed and feel useless for themselves only. And that would become a very sorrowful sight to see the disabled without any help.
Not only disabled kids or teenagers that have been strongly supported, CWARS, an NGO to provide skill trainings to disabled adults, has done a good job in raising their spirits up. I interviewed several trainees and grasped a bit of the disability background. They all were from the same situation. Some turned to silence, some turned to alcohol to stop themselves from sorrow. But since the organization found them and is equipping them with a technique to fish, they are beginning to see the shining light.
Through providing three meals a day and a place to say, the NGO is committed to making those disabled realize that they can always do something if they get up and do it now. The memory that was left in me was that I walked around CWARS, rather remote from Banteay Meanchey town (Sisophon) and watched the trainees working with all their fingers and legs (bike repairing and sewing).
The last organization I visited was DDSP based in Pursat province which has worked on clean water resources. The staff there spoke so eloquently about their work and, true, the villagers enjoyed the staff’s company when they arrived. Granted, the NGO has done a lot of good things, building wells and ponds for villagers in Pursat province and giving animals to those very poor family to have a way to earn an appropriate living.
After the trip, I concluded that 90% of the people I met were rice farmers and most of them need NGOs to support them selflessly and also the government to pay way for NGOs’ work. And if the government is instead prepared to implement a law to crack down on NGOs, I don’t think the big potion of the population would admire the decision. And, for sure, we all might think that Cambodia needs these people, and their work should be recognized by all the Cambodians.”