Jannes August Newsletter
Dear friends and partners,
It is not a good year in Cambodia. The rains have failed to come and the vast majority of farmers are on the move as their crops fail and hunger looms.
I had lunch last week with my co-founders and the US Ambassador. As we were talking about the current events in Cambodia the talk turned to health care. 38% of the income of families in Cambodia is spent on health care that is not always appropriate or effective. With the looming famine months ahead, this cost will go much higher as malnutrition and lack of potable water always affects the health of people.
It is the mothers who suffer most – yesterday I met with families that are struggling to survive – their husbands are away and they remain behind. Our talk meandered through various topics and we talked about the health of the women and the children. Cambodians have learned stoicism – and as we talked tears welled in the eyes of the women who were hurting from personal issues – others chuckled about the number of children they had- 6, 7 and then 3 women who had ten children each. We talked quietly of the hidden pains – one woman sat aside from the rest – her body rank from illness.
I left feeling bereft. What would this be like if it was I who had children I might not be able to feed or clothe – what would it be like to have my spouse away during the long, dark frightening nights? What would it be like if my body betrayed me – the hurt and shame involved with women’s issues – do I hide away in the darkness – which god would I turn to – who would hear my cries?
As you all know, we are building the Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital . For me personally it is not fast enough. How I hunger to say to these women, we hear you!
Lest I am swallowed up with such pity that I cannot move – that I become indifferent to the pain of other women – I just need to think of all of you – you who hear the pain – you who give so generously and faithfully – you who have such lovely ways of sharing the sorrow and pain here by thinking of and implementing so many ways of sharing the message and raising the funds.
In the next three months there are a number of events I would like to mention. The first is the Ride for Nokor Tep – an event that sees a number of bicycle riders cover 1000 kilometers throughout the countryside of Cambodia. I know from past years that the riders do understand the pain of our women by the time the ride is completed!www.ridefornokortep.com
And then Canadians have come up with a Rally for a Day in support of Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. This is not a whim but started by someone who understands the pain and sorrow of having suffered from severe and debilitating women’s issues. We are not alone.
In Australia there are a number of events in planning during my visits to Sydney & Melbourne in October. In Sydney, Marg Bond & Alison Boffa are organising a Nokor Tep fundraising function on Tuesday night October 13 ( event details will be on our website soon) . In Melbourne, the Victorian Cambodian Association are planning a community event for Saturday, October 17 and then that night there is a dinner at the Cambodian restaurant , Bopha Devi, in Melbourne ( tickets will go on sale for this dinner in the next few weeks). In addition later in October, Camille Shaw, is organising a music night in Meeniyan in Victoria, with friends from the local area, to raise money for Nokor Tep.
Then in November the Singapore annual Gala Dinner will again be held..... so many of you standing with the women of Cambodia through having fun and sharing experiences.
I thank my God for this gift of life He has granted me, for each and every one of you for your support, for the women of Cambodia who are not angry because it takes time to build the hospital right but who hunger for relief.
Thank you all, Janne
PS For more photos on the hospital's construction progress please click here