Dear Friends and Partners,
It has been a number of weeks since we last talked – the reason for this is that Miriam and I went to Canada to visit family, friends and to do some speaking with Tabitha Canada. In our college hunting for my daughter - Miriam selected her school of choice – McMasters in Hamilton Ontario. How grateful I am for these special moments.
On my first day back I met with a house building team – the Margarita’s had a lovely build – but they also became acutely aware of the need for Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. One house that they built was for Yea Chien and her family. Yea is 55 years old and has been ill for two years – she has a lump in her belly – a lump that has swollen to the size of a basketball. Yea takes herbal medicine – she cannot afford anything else – they are so poor. The team was saddened and helpless in her plight. My soul aches for her – my hands are empty – in Cambodia a house is so important to die in – why must she suffer so?
So I want to share our progress. We have 70% of the roof poured! How good that is! But our need is acute for the rainy season has started and we would like to complete the roof by the end of August – just before the big rains arrive. In order to do so – we need $100,000 USD – I know how big an ask this is – yet there are so many women waiting and the urgency to help continues to swell.
Then we need to finish the inside structure which we can do as the rains fall - $150,000 USD will allow us to complete stairs, finish elevator shafts, brick and mortar the walls, finish the floors –it will look so beautiful!
Electricity to run the hospital – in order to run all our equipment including the operating theaters and radiation units we need to increase our electricity to 800 KVP – a very generous Cambodian donor, is donating the cost of wire and electricity poles, plus installation costs to the hospital – but we need to buy a transformer at the cost of $57,000 USD .
I will continue to update each of you as the progress continues – it is ever so much fun to share our specific needs now that the end of the construction is nearing.
I should mention that we have made a decision not to work with just one partner but to work with many partners at Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. There are some very exciting discussions ongoing with a number of likeminded groups. In this process we are looking for some outstanding people to come and work with us – we are looking for a Hospital Director, a Chief Medical officer and a Chief Financial Officer. These positions are volunteer spots – with a minimum commitment of 18 months to 3 years. For those who may be interested -this is an opportunity to leave a bit of yourselves – your imprint on the lives of millions of women – this is an opportunity to leave your mark in the medical world!
I believe that with all your help – this time next year – I will no longer have to face another woman such as Yea Chien with my soul in turmoil. I thank my God for my life, for each of you who give life to so many. May it be that together we can bring the mercy and grace we live with in such abundance to those whose lives are so difficult! How good that will be!
May 3, 2016
Mother’s Day – May 8th in the Northern Hemisphere – is a day when we celebrate the lives of our mothers – the gifts of love and caring – the gift of our lives. In the past several months Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital has been honored by some very special mothers.
The Queen Mother of Cambodia –Her Majesty: Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk – invited Phavi, myself and several other support people from Nokor Tep to come and visit her at the palace. The Queen presented us with a cash donation towards the building of the hospital. Her Majesty was delighted about the progress of the building and talked of the great need of the women for our services. She spoke of the battles of Cambodian women to receive treatment when they were ill. It was a special hour – an hour where we talked and stood together in our efforts to bring health care to the women here.
The First Lady of Cambodia, Samdech Kittipritthbindit Bun Rany HUNSEN, President of Cambodian Red Cross, presented us with a donation towards the construction of the hospital. It was a special moment as she discussed with us about the hospital, how it will work; how it will touch so many lives. We were touched by her compassion for the women here.
The Cambodian Women’s entrepreneurs are mothers who represented the middle class in Cambodia. These are women who have their own businesses, women who have their own families. Women who experience the need for help for themselves and for the women who work for them.
Then there are the women who represent the poorer class – women for whom health care is not an option – for whom illness results in loss of income, family members and often their own lives. Who can forget Sok Sina, a lady in her forties, dying of an illness that ate away her life, yet as she was dying, got up from her bed and walked to each home in her village –asking one and all to donate a few reils to the hospital. I will not benefit - she said - but you and your daughters will.
This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day and we at Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital honor the mothers of Cambodia – women who are passionate and compassionate about the plight of their fellow women/ sisters here in Cambodia.
This week we will pour the remaining section of flooring to complete the third floor of the hospital. We are beginning the support posts for the roof. We have a vision – a vision that by the time the Next Mother’s Day arrives, the hospital will be open and receiving the mothers of Cambodia.
I thank my God for all of you mothers, husbands, sons and daughters who stand with us in this journey . I thank my God for women here in Cambodia: Her Majesty, the First Lady, middle class women, the poor women – all of us standing together to help each of us receive comfort and healing through the building of the hospital. How good that is. Happy Mother’s Day everyone
See our web page: www.nokortep.com
For tax deductible donations and UK Government Gift Aid, you can donate via our charity Partners in different countries:
March 4, 2016
Dear Friends and partners,
This month of March celebrates women internationally. March 8th is the day set aside for official recognition. Here in Tabitha Cambodia we celebrate women every day of the year – we celebrate family – we celebrate life itself.
Life for many Cambodian women is not easy – their value in life is seen as one who must take care of home and family. This value is dictated by custom yet life is hardly as easy as it sounds. For many women day to day life is one of constant struggle – struggle to clothe and feed their families; struggle to manage their farm land; struggle to deal with daily health issues.
Tabitha Cambodia works with women through savings – savings which give the women dignity – the right to choose to change something hurtful into something hopeful. Our women work long hours; they save for simple things – a towel or clothes for the children. They save for chickens or pigs or a bicycle to make travelling just that bit easier. They save for dignity.
Cambodian women save to have a life giving source of water or a starter home that they will make their own. Cambodia women speak up for their children – they speak of a school so that their children will be able to read and write; an opportunity to understand some of the contracts they sign.
Cambodian women hunger for a chance to have some relief from their constant gynecological ailments. They hunger for a good night’s sleep and to wake up refreshed and renewed ready to take up their life. Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital is that chance to make that happen – a chance for a second go at life.
March is the month for women. Each and every one of you have stood with hundreds of thousands of women here through your support – I pray to my God that you will continue to stand with the women of Cambodia. What a privilege that is! Thank you for being you and for changing the lives of so many,
Dear friends and partners,
We have made some serious decisions regarding the hospital this past week. We believe that these decisions will allow the beginning of services to the women of Cambodia by early 2017. Let me share these decisions and our needs:
1 We have decided to finish the current size of NKTH at the third floor – we will make this into a roof with the ability to be changed into another floor with minimal effort. This will give us 3 full floors of hospital use – and room for expansion as we grow.
The rationale for this is that the hospital space is now big enough to provide services at a good rate. We also do not have enough funds to finish the entire building – at the current rate of funding it will take another 3 years.
What do we need:
To accomplish this we need to have $500,000 USD ASAP – so that we can complete the current structure by end of May/June. Currently we have used up our credit line of $100,000 USD and will be unable to continue until funds come in.
To complete the inside work – another $750,000 USD will be needed by end of June – this will allow us 6 months to complete the 3 floors and have the building ready for use by end of December 2016.
Once the hospital is completed only the founding donations will be on the hospital walls.
If you would like your name on the Wall of Caring and haven’t donated yet the following is possible -Brick $100USD Meter- $400 USD – Plaques $5000 USD and up – Naming Rights on parts of the Hospital $500,000 USD and Up.
2 We are currently in negotiations with a health organization that will manage the hospital for NKT. The vision is to nationalize the hospital within a period of 10-15 years through setting up, training and handing over of all functions of the hospital.
This group has had 20 years of experience in Cambodia and currently manage 2 other hospitals. Our visions are similar. Their immediate tasks will be as follows:
- Agreement on internal spaces within hospital – inside design
- List of equipment
- Schedule of steps moving forward – including dates
- Agreement on volunteers – should have a wider outreach – worldwide so that NKTH is able to continue to broaden and expand on its growing support base
- 3 year budget and plans – which must include services to be provided to patients and approved by NKTH
The hospital services will open up in stages so that proper training and management is developed
3 Outfitting of the hospital will begin in earnest once we have the list of equipment required – equipment will be coming from many sources – Canada, USA, France, Germany, Australia and Singapore – to date we have not had to pay any costs for this equipment
In line with this, a list of consumables, cleaning supplies, pharmaceuticals, etc will be provided; crrently we have several companies who are willing to donate in kind.
What do we need?
Help in identifying possible sources of equipment and in kind donations when we have the list in hand.
4 Membership of women – once the organization has given us a list of services we will approach corporations and businesses to buy membership for their female staff. Currently we have 5 corporations who are very interested in this membership.
The cost will be $5.00 per women per month or $60.00 USD per year and will provide for a minimum of check-ups, diagnoses, medicines, etc. We would expect this enrollment to be at 100,000 women within 2 years – enough to run the hospital and provide services.
This is our vision and our plans for the next year. We are so very grateful to all of you for your constant and ongoing support. I look forward to having all of you stand beside us at the official opening.