January, and the ringing in of the New Year is known as a time for reflection of achievements, combined with ambitions for the year approaching. Here at REACH, the meticulous preparation to open our doors began in 2019, and it seems apt to begin 2020 by warmly welcoming you all to join our journey with us.
After careful assessment, it was clear that the need for REACH in Thlok Andoung, Sla Kram, Siem Reap, is desperate. Despite making progress, the country’s socio-economic structure is still recovering from the post genocide effects. Although Siem Reap is a tourist hub, with 1.5 million international visitors yearly, shockingly, it is considered one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia. Entire communities are living in dire conditions, without access to the most basic of human needs. Those who are uneducated that ARE able to find employment are most commonly working long hours at laborious jobs, in dangerous and unsanitary conditions.
There are little rewards to be reaped from these jobs; the minimum wage opportunities for the uneducated very rarely provides enough money for parents to feed their families. All too often, responsibilities to financially provide for the family extend down to the children.
Surviving day to day, families are desperate for an immediate result. As a result, many children are sent to beg on the streets or search through putrid rubbish piles to collect and resell plastic bottles and cans. Subsequently, they do not have the opportunity to attend school and henceforth, the poverty cycle continues. Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality for many families in Thlok Andoung.
Here at REACH, we are committed to implementing programs with an infrastructure that will achieve positive lasting effects, with the long term goal to create a self-sustaining community. We aim to do so by providing fundamental opportunities through Education, Nutrition, Healthcare leading ultimately to employment pathways. The objective is for Cambodian families to have a new means to provide sufficiently for themselves and thus break free from poverty.
Our passionate team of directors have been working tirelessly to put this into action. Prior to REACH, Emily Williamson - Australia born, and New Zealander Joe McBride have previously worked together, sharing the same passion to see a future for Cambodia where all children have access to their basic needs and an undeniable opportunity to thrive and succeed. This is the reason that collectively, they have devoted 9 years to living and working in charities on the ground in Cambodia. In addition to this, they hold high value in regards to transparency to donors and reporting on financials, something that REACH is very committed to providing.
The final key in the chain, is our Volunteer Khmer Director Chea Kosal. Born in Siem Reap into an impoverished family, Kosal is now a successful landlord and has an excellent rapport with expats and locals alike. Kosal is living proof that through hard work and determination, a bright and positive future is attainable for all Khmer people. His evident passion to empower the community through education and youth employment is a shared vision between the team. With Joe’s experience in the construction industry in addition to his dedication to sustainable development; Emily’s marketing and fundraising experiences both through her University studies and practical involvement, and Kosal’s dedication to our mission, our incredibly close team on the ground are excited about bringing together their skills to ensure the success of all programs.
Thanks to our generous supporters, we have been able to complete approximately 75% of our building structures, but before we open our gates, we still have to secure funding for the construction of our Kitchen.
There are MANY ways you can help in these early stages, please REACH out now to see how you can get involved.
We are very excited to share our progress with you, let the journey begin…
Emily, Joe & Kosal
REACH SIEM REAP