Greetings to our friends from the Children of Cambodia
As many of you know, for the last two years we have hired more Cambodian employees to support our work and have slowly transferred responsibility from me and the vice director Tuomo Holi to them. Our team works well and we are happy that we have found such great colleagues in a developing country, where so few are educated or speak other languages.
It has been wonderful to witness how the shelter mother Jaya Srey Victor has brought the girls together with strong leadership. She has established gentle and wise direction and acts as a mother figure, which the girls have previously lacked or been betrayed by. It has been inspiring to see how much the therapist Ean Nil has grown in his work by broadening the scope of his responsabilities, and he has transitioned smoothly into his expanded role. We continue to provide education to our Cambodian employees.
My personal vision of my role as the founder and organizer has been realized. We have now transfered more responsibility also to my colleague Tuomo Holi, who has been along on the work from the very beginning as a strong partner, and without whom we would not have succeeded. I am continuing to work part time in Finland. I will be in contact and visit the Cambodian workplaces regularly, and in Finland I work to increase awareness of the importance of human rights for children, inform people about our mission, and organize fundraisers. We have already organized two conferences and a benefit concert. Now that I am in Finland, Tuomo Holi will continue the tradition and will start writing the newsletters for you so that you will continue to be informed of the happenings and our work in Cambodia.
Returning to Finland has been a completely new experience, even though I have returned from living overseas before. My experiences in Cambodia, the good and the bad, cannot be compared to anything. In Cambodia, the work required keeping serious stress inside, and dealing with many surprising situations. For me, that experience, with all of its difficulties and impossibilities, was still priceless. I believe that for each unspeakable trial there, a new part of myself was allowed to grow. It is not nessessary that life would be fun all the time.
In the picture from left: Viola Muhonen, Chan Srey Neth, Pihla Muhonen, Srey Lin and Ean Nil (on the back).
Before returning to Finland we gave the shelter employees and girls unforgettable experiences by travelling to Siem Reap to see Cambodianís national symbol, the incredible Angkor Wat Temple. The idea for this trip originated at a fundraising event held in Helsinki, Finland where donations exceeded all of our expectations.
You can imagine the kind of experience the girls had when they saw with their own eyes the miraculous sight of their homeland, and how excited they were to travel there on an airplane! Through donations, we were able to give each girl a disposal camera, but despite our warnings many of them took all their pictures as soon as they got into the airplane :).
Thanks again to each and every one of you, who support our work in different ways. Together we have achieved something remarkable, for which I want to thank each of you who accompany us on the journey. Me and the team wishes you all Merry Christmas! We hope you can all feel part of the joy which you have given to some of the children of Cambodia.
Children of Cambodia