12 September 2017 – 40 supporters and donors came together to hear from Dr Rithy and understand how his hope was renewed through the many years of support from HAGAR.
His sharing was filled with with many personal stories and intimate details of his childhood which was heartbreaking to hear. Abandoned by his own mother who tried to kill him, Rithy lived on the streets when his only beloved grandpa passed away. Homeless and desperate, he lived each day rummaging through garbage for food and water. Soon, drugs became his closest companion – the only way he knew how to numb his unspeakable pain.
When Rithy was referred to HAGAR, he was 12 years old and he had received no education. Through a painful start, he and his teachers struggled to teach him basic literacy and numeracy. He also resented the fact that the other students in the class were much younger than him and he devoted his time to studying.
As this young man’s life began to change, he started to think about his own people from the slums he lived in, searching for food scraps to get by every day and he made a commitment to help them and change their lives just as how his life had changed.
Today, Rithy is a full-fledged medical doctor in Cambodia but he’s no ordinary practitioner. He travels to the poor people in the slums, treating them and caring for them on his mobile medical clinic.
“Though I am no longer living in the slum anymore, I am back for the slum people now.” – DR RITHY
It is through lives like Rithy’s that warrants the work that we do here at HAGAR. For all the years of walking alongside Rithy, he sums up the reason for us to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes. And when healing happens, and the cycle of poverty is broken, communities can become whole again.
Our Empower Campaign helps survivors like Rithy in their journey of recovery. For just $50 a month, you can provide them with the necessary skills and support to start a whole new life.