Tabitha Foundation Cambodia Named Top NGO
‘UNSUNG HEROES CAMBODIA’ Names Tabitha Foundation in Best Volunteering in Cambodia in New Book that Honours NGO Work Across All Categories
(Newswire -- April 16, 2014) Sydney, NSW --
The Tabitha Foundation has been singled out as one of the top NGOs in Cambodia with its inclusion in the book ‘UNSUNG HEROES CAMBODIA: People and Projects Making a Difference’.
While there are over 3,000 Non-Governmental Orgainisations (NGOs) working in Cambodia today, this book showcases NGOs selected from different areas, both geographically as well as areas of focus. From basic human needs such as food, water and shelter to healthcare, education, sustainable business and the arts. These are important projects that are helping Cambodia recover from the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge.
The feature story on Tabitha Foundation in 'UNSUNG HEROES CAMBODIA' is as inspirational as it is educational.
“A single request in 1995 by a teacher wanting his students to learn about poverty through a volunteer experience was a milestone beginning for Tabitha. While it’s now known internationally for its volunteers House Building Program, we singled it out because of the many other programs that provide empowering change to Cambodians,” stated co-author Shawna Hartley.
Each year over a 1,000 houses are built by volunteer teams from across the world. Small groups from schools, families, even corporate management teams come to Cambodia on weeklong projects to finish houses for a community. It’s a life-changing event for the villagers, as well as the volunteers.
Janne Riskes, founder of the Tabitha Foundation, is a firm believer in self-reliance rather than handouts. The cornerstone of the Tabitha Foundation is a micro-banking program that teaches how savings can change the life of even the most impoverished.
Participation in the Savings Program is a pre-requisite for Cambodian families or villages to participate in their other major programs which include House Building, Cottage Industry Handicrafts, and Water Wells.
The latter provides clean drinking water for drinking, bathing and washing as well as for animals and to irrigate crops.
It has done much to rectify the destruction of most of the wells during the Pol Pot years and cope with Cambodia’s abundant rainfall during the wet season (May to October) followed by almost no rain in the dry season (November to April).
At any one time, Tabitha is assisting over 33,000 families (representing over 264,000 people) to save their way out of desperate poverty. It has helped lift over 300,000 Cambodians out of poverty and despair.
It has enabled them to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in a holistic and sustainable way, thereby transforming their lives into ones of dignity, joy and active participation in their communities. Tabitha Cambodia supports itself and its 100% Khmer staff through the profits on its cottage industry products sold in a number of popular handicraft outlets.
Tabitha Cambodia has inspired Tabitha Canada, Tabitha USA, Tabitha Singapore, Tabitha UK, Tabitha Australia, and Tabitha New Zealand - all registered NGOs in their respective country, run by volunteers … and vigilant about keeping operating expenses to a minimum so that every dollar of program donations goes directly to Cambodia.
Co-authors Lee Anderson, Kerryan Griffin and Shawna Hartley developed 'UNSUNG HEROES CAMBODIA' to celebrate the exemplary work of those volunteering in Cambodia as well as to raise awareness and funds for the projects.
“We selected the best projects for volunteers in Cambodia, based on a diverse criteria and it was very difficult to choose between the many, many good projects,” stated co-author Shawna Hartley.
The book provides perspective on the work has been done to date by volunteers in Cambodia, and what still remains to be done. It provides insight on the diversity and nature of NGOs and seeks to inspire more volunteers to come to help fully aware of the complexities involved.
“There are so many unsung heroes in Cambodia and their stories deserve to be celebrated,” stated Lee Anderson, co-author and founder of the project. “This book, despite being 168 pages long, only showcases some of the NGOs such as Tabitha that are doing exceptional work by volunteers in Cambodia.”
'UNSUNG HEROES CAMBODIA: People and Projects Making a Difference’ by Lee Anderson, Kerryan Griffin and Shawna Hartley is available at select bookstores worldwide, on Amazon and their website www.unsungheroes.net.au