Dedicated to serving the poor and afflicted with their hearts and hands, 32 members from Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) Church (BBTC) and three doctors from Barker Road Methodist Church (BRMC) travelled to Cambodia from 27 November to 5 December 2018, bringing health and hope to impoverished communities in Phnom Penh.
Doctors from Singapore partnered with a local Cambodian doctor, Dr Rithy (former HAGAR beneficiary, read his story here), to conduct a health screening for kids living in the slums of Phnom Penh. Everyone chipped in, even if without medical training, there was still a role for every person. Many of the children are malnourished and suffer from tooth decay due to a lack of dental hygiene knowledge and proper brushing tools. Dr Rithy, assisted by other HAGAR beneficiaries in medical school will continue to follow up with the families to ensure that the kids receive adequate nutrition to grow well and have access to education.
In support of trafficking survivors under HAGAR’s care, 8 Singapore families with their young children completed their race at the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon and raised funds for the work of HAGAR. During the visit to the slum, the Singapore kids were immaculately well-behaved and absolutely sensitive to the locals. Despite the heat and the acrid smell, the children did not show any discomfort and graciously gave out the goodie bags that were prepared for each household. They also prepared a song and dance performance which they showed at the Hagar Community Learning Centre. Adding on to the Christmas programme, it was an entire afternoon of laughs and cheers as the Hagar students took on the Singaporeans in a classic dog-and-bone game.
For the locals in Cambodia, they would never be able to afford going on an outing, so it was a tremendous treat when the team brought the kids from the slums and the Hagar Community Learning Centre to Safari World! The children including the teachers had the time of their lives watching the different animal shows and getting up close and personal with the majestic tigers, deadly crocodiles and many more creatures that they had never seen before. Some of the braver ones attempted to feed the goats and giraffes, whilst some stood at a distance watching their friends stretch out their hands to offer bananas and leaves. Following lunch and games that afternoon, Dr Rithy kept the kids engaged in wonder as he shared his life story, spurring the children to reach for their dreams by giving their best to their studies despite their hard lives now.
This is the second year that members from BBTC and BRMC collaborated with HAGAR to provide medical and community services to some of the most deprived and exploited communities in Cambodia.
If you are interested to join us on such trips and would like to contribute your skills to help the afflicted and marginalised, do drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or register your interest using the form below.