Cambodia Spring 2008

At the end of March 2008, 20 people from Japan and 2 people from America joined Cealo on his journey of compassion in Cambodia. His Holiness visited 2 orphanages (one with 85 children, and one with about 45 children). He also visited a children’s hospital, a village of silk weavers, and distributed care packages to HIV people and poor people and old people with no family living on the city streets in Phnom Penh. In total during this trip, His Holiness gave 1,000 children and 500 families care packages.

SCADP, an educational program for orphans and children in rural area
While in Cambodia, Cealo worked closely with an organization directed by Boray, the sister of Princess Sisowath Kanthireth. This organization is taking care of approximately 5,000 children across Cambodia, in 15 provinces, in both rural areas and downtown Phnom Penh. The programs supported by SCADP provides smaller children with educational experiences for learning how to take care of themselves, hygiene, play activities, and traditional dancing. This organization also provides older children with 3 months of trade school with skills such as sewing lessons, hairdresser training, computer instruction, and English lessons. Cealo is supporting this organization with care packages that include stationary, sweets, towels and soaps. When they graduate, some of these children will go to other centers to help with younger children.
Ankor Children’s Hospital
Cealo visited with a children’s hospital in the Ankor Wat area. At this hospital, 500 to 600 people are treated everyday for free, mostly mother’s with small children. They walk all day to get there since they do not have any money and do not want to go home due to domestic violence. This is also the area that Cealo is working with the neighborhood people to build an educational center. His Holiness made a generous donation to the Children’s hospital to help with medical supplies. He also donated 100 bags of rice, 100 sets of food, clothes, soaps, and towels, so the hospital can give to people who have nothing and no home to go to.

Baby Bottle Team

While at the hospital, 200 glass baby bottles collected by Hiroshima baby bottle team were donated. The baby bottle team also raised $2,000 to procure the milk formula. They donated some of these funds to HIV people, too, but mainly gave support to the hospital.

Children’s Book Team
While in Cambodia, the children’s book team read books to children at two orphanages. While the team was showing the big pictures of a story book like a puppet show to the children at the orphanage, Cealo distributed some money and supplies.
The children’s book team has written and is translating a children’s book from the Japanese Kanji language into the Cambodian Khmer language. They had a visit from the Princess to help with the reading of the book for children in orphanages. This children’s book will be published in the three languages including Japanese, Khmer and English and will sell the books as one set of two so one will go to a child in Cambodia and another to the donor.
While at this orphanage, some of the Japanese people stayed overnight, sleeping on the floor with the orphans. They studied a lot about the orphanage while they visited so that they can help to plan another orphanage with Cealo. Meantime, Cealo supports orphanages he visits financially and materially as best he can.

Plans for a New Orphanage Have Begun
With the improvement of connections in Cambodia and with the help from a Japanese man with rice farming experience who decided to live in Cambodia to perform Gayuna Cealo's way of direct action, Cealo is making plans to build a new orphanage.

Silk Village
The silk village is slowly improving. Some of the Japanese organizers visiting with Cealo have a fashion background and have been learning about dying silk materials before visiting Cambodia. This group has visited the silk village 4 times to help improve the silk weaving processes. Now, finer quality silks are being made. This time, more ideas to improve the quality of the silks were shared and additional business guidance was given to the Cambodian women who are the silk weavers. Cealo hopes these silk weavers will be able to manage their own business soon. They are learning how to calculate and write receipts, etc. They are slowly learning and growing. Cealo takes a 3 hour boat ride, twice each year, to visit this rural and isolated area. All the silks for the Big Heart Market come from this small village in the Kandal area.
Candle Project
Some days, at midnight after a full day of distributing aid, the Cambodia, Myanmar, Japanese people worked together to make full moon meditation candles and peace candles. Approximately 50 peace candles and 5,000 full moon meditation candles were melted together using jasmine oil and sacred wax collected from temples and churches around the world.