Visitors admire the accomplishments of TSF
On January 19, twelve members of the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Concord, MA, arrived in Phnom Penh to tour and see the Sharing Foundation projects. Upon their return, we asked for their reflections.
Leslie Ackles: "We stood at the gate to the village school and watched as children arrived on foot, on bikes, and on the back of motorbikes. The sun was setting. It was the end of their day. And yet they were all smiles and waves. They were coming to the Sharing Foundation English classes and they couldn’t have been happier or prouder. I taught one class and the eagerness to learn was evident and contagious. What struck me as I answered their carefully formed questions in English, was that as a result of the Sharing Foundation, these children’s lives have been touched and changed forever."
Marty and Russ Wolf: "We found this to be an enriching educational experience in many ways. The enthusiasm of the middle and high school students to grasp the English language and learn about life in another culture was a delight. The loving care of the nannies at the orphanage brought tears to our eyes. The delight on the faces of the students in receiving uniforms, pencils, and copy books, made possible by TSF, was a joy to behold. For all that we have been given, here was a small chance to give back, and we loved it!"
Isabel Bailey: "I was so impressed that each dollar is going to the children of Cambodia so they can receive the most important basics for a promising future. The smiles and faces eager for knowledge, the relationships built on trust and joy, all greeted us wherever we went: the orphanage, school, college, villages and farm. The Sharing Foundation uses each dollar to meet the needs of so many people. We saw the clean water systems and latrines at the schools, the uniforms so children can attend school, and teachers who were paid and supervised to really teach the children. What I saw was not a show of temporary benefits, but benefits to children and families for years and generations to come."
Ruth and Tom Piper: "The Sharing Foundation children and students seem to know that they will always have a loving, supportive home with devoted "nannies", educational opportunities, a large caring family, and food, clothing and healthcare. All of them seem to have a positive sense of the future and are so thoughtful of each other, so self-disciplined. It was an experience that brought forth awe and admiration for the life-changing work of The Sharing Foundation."
Charles and Katherine Denault: "We were particularly impressed with not just the quality of care the nannies provided, but the heart with which they provided it. The Nannies were fully invested in their charges, caring for them as if they were caring for their own children. We saw this with impaired children, who were constantly being cuddled, and at the water park, when the nannies leapt into the water to ensure that the children were safe. Their investment in their jobs was far more than one does when ‘working’.
"We speak about English being the universal language. What we found at the orphanage was that children communicate universally with laughter. While playing hacky sack with us, dancing, or racing down the water slides, the children were a symphony of joy expressed through shrieks and laughs. We did not need to speak Khmer. What they were saying went straight to our hearts, giving us unspeakable joy.
"The Sharing Foundation has altered the lives of many. We saw how each of these children benefits from the seeds of knowledge that have been planted. "Being a tourist in Cambodia was fun, but the kids made the trip. Just being the fly on the wall, to see how they live, to experience their day, touched us in ways that I don’t think any of us expected. Those days will be with us forever."
Bob Baldridge: "This picture [left] says it all for me. The young lady is a third year engineering student at Norton University and has been a member of the Sharing Foundation family for much of her life. Her smile is as bright as any of the jewels we saw in the many temples we visited in Cambodia and for me, it has as much or more meaning."