It is probably a testament to how busy we have been that our blog posts have been lacking, but I have to say it has been so incredibly fulfilling to feel like we are actually able to be of service to WDA. We have just finished a marathon of grant proposal writing, and although we keep finding more “Calls for Proposals” to work on, it seems we have now reached a point where the whole process is a bit smoother and we are able to churn out the grants like semi-pros. There have been so many odd wake-up calls during our proposal writing process. For example, when writing a grant for the promotion of CEDAW (the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, ratified by Cambodia in 1992) we found that one of the biggest impediments to CEDAW’s recognition in Cambodia is that many lawyers and judges simply don’t know it exists. During our proposal development for a project to help combat child labor we found out that parents are reticent to send their kids to school because at times the teachers show up drunk, don’t show up at all, or actually bring the whole class with them to go work in the field rather than actually teaching. It’s like trying to paint over a scratch on your bedroom wall only to discover that the entire foundation of the house is crumbling. But at the same time there are so many incredible people here who keep working in spite of the difficulties, we can’t help but be inspired to persevere.
We got to take a second trip out to Kampong Speu to visit the Hemispheres Foundation resettlement project. We helped Ann and Thida drop off food as a Ramadan gift from Muslim donors in Singapore. We also were able to hand out clothing and stuffed animal donations for the kids- and really there is nothing more satisfying than giving a child some new clothes when they literally had none before. The kids were ecstatic, so we are now trying to put together our own batch of clothes donations for our families to bring out when they visit at the end of our trip. So if you have any clothes or stuffed animals to donate, please contact us before August 10th and someone will pick them up and bring them to Cambodia!! I seriously can’t imagine an easier way to do something unequivocally good in the world, so please help us out!