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Tabitha newsletters

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October 31, 2012

Dear friends and partners,

Today is the birthday of Cambodia’s late King Sihanouk – who passed away two weeks ago. It’s been a time of mourning for the people of Cambodia. For older people like my staff Chao Da it is a time of trauma. The passing of the King marks the end of an era of turmoil, uncertainty, tremendous suffering and pain. For Chao Da and so many others who remember the time of goodness before the turmoil, the King was always there – through all the years of uncertainty, the one sure thing was the presence of the King – for Chao Da and so many others, trauma marks his days as his fears return – he is afraid that Cambodia will pass as the King has passed. He is afraid that the turmoil will all return.

September 2012

Dear Friends and Partners, 

We are celebrating our program year end – and what an amazing year that we have had. We worked with 60,856 families – 486,848 dependents. So much has happened and continues to happen that I thought, this year I would take the time to explain various aspects of our programs and the results. This means I will be sending you several newsletters over the next few days – celebrating our work.

September 2012

Dear friends and partners,

I would like to share a few more highlights of our work this past year. This one is about house building. People always ask why do you do house building. Well, there are many reasons. One of the main reasons is that house building is a great leveler. Our poorest families have a very low self esteem. They believe they are bad, they believe that they are not very smart. They believe that foreigners have all the answers. House building changes that illusion.

September 6, 2012

Dear Friends and partners,

Today I would like to share the impact of water on our families. With a change of attitude through savings, a source of dependable water has the greatest impact on our families. This past 12 months we were able to install 2,597 sources of water which directly impacted 5,350 families. What we mean by direct is that the water sources are installed for specific families because these families must be able to earn an income from the water – but - families in the community who do not have their own water source do have free access to the water for family use – uses like taking baths, washing clothes, water for cooking and cleaning.

May 31, 2012

Dear friends and partners,

It’s the time of year for many of us for graduation – graduation from finishing one grade in school and moving to the next. Graduation is also an integral part of our work in Tabitha. This month and the next – all of our projects talk about which families should graduate and which families should continue. It’s not an easy process as many of our families are loathe to leave our programs. I would like to share just one story of a family graduating.

April 10, 2012

Dear friends and partners,

Happy Khmer New Years – yes, it’s the third new years for us in 2012. Happy Easter – yesterday was a day of rejoicing. In a couple of days – we will close Tabitha down for a ten day Khmer New Years break – it’s a time in Cambodia where everyone who can – travels home to their place of birth or where their family lives.

January 25, 2012

Dear friends and partners,

Happy Western New Years and Happy Chinese New Year’s – how fortunate can a person get - we get to celebrate two different new years in one month. Then we get to celebrate Khmer New Years in April. For me, New Years is always a symbol of new beginnings, new hopes and new dreams – it’s a wonderful way to celebrate life itself.

Dec 12, 2011

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Dear friends and partners,

Today the weather is beautiful. Crisp, cool air and 23 degrees – we are all wearing sweaters and looking forward to perhaps a day of wearing socks. It puts me in the mood for the holiday season. Several people these past few days have wished me Peace of Earth. It’s a lovely sentiment – but it’s a sentiment that starts me thinking.

November 23, 2011

Dear friends and partners,

It’s a very busy month for us – a very good month.  This week we have seven house building teams in country out of 13 teams in the month of November. 250 families are getting a new starter home this month. Someone asked me how long the houses last. It’s a difficult question to answer because the houses we build are starter homes. This is the beginning of a sturdy permanent home. Our task is not to build a finished permanent home but to begin the process of a family moving in the direction of dreaming for and completing their own dream home – Cambodian style.

October 12, 2011

Dear Friends and partners,

It’s been a hard week for all of us. Last week we were rejoicing how our families in Prey Veng were hoping to have a bumper crop of rice. The floods had hit Kompong Thom project a month ago and our families had lost all their rice but for some reason Prey Veng wasn’t flooded. This weekend the floods arrived – within hours everything was under water.

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