Emma Watson HeForShe Campaign - 2014
This was the moment I really started thinking about Cambodia's issues and what could be done to improve them, I am not a silver spooned westener trying to make myself feel good, I am not doing this for personal gain. I have lived and worked in the country, I have spoken to the locals, and I have seen the issues it has, at first hand. Cambodia has not asked for hand me downs or help, it is a proud country, but I would like the opportunity to give back in way of thanks and its something I want to do for one of the most caring nations I have ever met.
Hopefully, with your assistance and donations, we can give the children of Cambodia and the nation as a whole, at a better future for all!!!
Working in Sihanoukville, in one of the most popular bars on the beach, Cambodia's problems with prostitution was very evident
This in itself was sad, however I remember the moment I decided I really wanted to help. I was chatting to two young girls, Teal and Lucy, two amazing girls, I'd call friends, who, like most of the children in the area were street sellers, normally selling bracelets.
We were chatting on the beach one day and I remember asking them both what they wanted to be when they were older, Teal said instantly a doctor and I was literally overjoyed, high fiving and telling her, that with hard work she could do anything. However when I asked Lucy she said a prostitute, this really cut to the core of me, these girls were maybe 7, no older than 8, just a few years older than my nephews, I didn't feel children of this age should even know the word prostitute, let alone think, that's what she aspired to be, but from a young juvenile perspective can you blame her. The girls she see's wearing the best clothes, with the nicest make up and the mobile phones, what where they?
I'd thought before about how much I'd like to help this amazing country, but this was the moment it really hammered the point home to me, that moment I remember thinking, someone should be doing something about this, to quote Emma Watson, it was a case of "if not me, who? If not now, When?"
Throughout my time in Cambodia and in particular, Sihanoukville, which I fondly called home for three months, I got to see and experience, what I consider to be one of the most friendly, generous and caring nations, I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
This is truly remarkable when you consider Cambodia's dark and troubled passed, in which 1 in 4 people were killed, either directly by, or as a direct result of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, an estimated 2 million people lost their lives in roughly 4 years.
That is not to say that there aren't still huge problems within the country, in particular problems with child labour, prostitution and a lack in sports facilities.
Rishi and Max, making a heart with Teal and Lucy - The Best Street Sellers On The Beach!!!