Cambodia Visit Apr 2014
A delegation of Australian Relief Organisation members organised a visit to Cambodia between 21-25 April 2014 to participate in various Humanitarian Aid programs and investigate further aid projects that will assist the people of Cambodia. On April 21, 3 representatives of ARO touched down in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. They were hosted by ARO’s partner organisation Mekong Charity during their stay in Cambodia. The ARO delegation consisted of the CEO Cihan Tumen, Board members Hamit Yolcu and Yildıray Odemis.
On April the 22nd, the group first visited the Ministry of Internal National Police Chief General Sok Phal in his office. ARO representatives received information from General Sok Phal in relation to the Cambodian clothing appeal and the logistical and customs support provided by the Cambodian government agencies to this project. Accompanied by Mekong Charity Executive President Mr Hakan Atasever and the Cambodian Ministry of Education Under Secretary Nos Sles, the group visited an orphanage in the region. ARO representatives distributed financial assistance to 77 residents of the orphanage (ages ranging from 8 to 13). The group later visited a temporary shelter that was established for students soon after the floods that destroyed their housing facilities. There, the ARO representatives distributed financial assistance to a total of 56 university students with financial difficulties who are struggling to continue their education.
Next day, ARO officials arrived at the city of Battambang after a five-hour journey and on 24th of April. An official program was held in Battambang with more than 1,500 Cambodians. The Flood Clothing appeal which was collected by ARO from the Australian community was distributed to disadvantaged Cambodians in the presence of ARO representatives, Mekong Charity Executive President Hakan Atasever, Cambodian Ministry of Interior National Police Administration San Hak and the regional officials. At the distribution program, General San Hak and Hakan Atasever made speeches about the aid and thanked the ARO representatives and Australian people.
Cihan Tumen also made a speech about flood relief and stated: “Mekong Charity contacted our organisation and requested humanitarian aid following the 2013 Cambodian floods which affected 80% of Cambodia and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. A campaign was organised to collect clothing, shoes, blankets, toys etc. and a 40ft container was sent to Cambodia in late March 2014. With the assistance of the Cambodian National Police, providing easy access through Customs and logistics support, we are now here today with you to deliver the humanitarian aid to our friends, the Cambodian people. On behalf of the ARO Board of Directors, it gives us great pleasure to be here today and we would like to thank all who contributed to this campaign, whether financially, through volunteering or through clothing donations.” After the official speeches, aid packages consisting of men, women, children’s clothing and toys were distributed to 1,500 families, so a total of 6,000 people benefited from the appeal.
The ARO delegation later returned to Phnom Penh to examine a couple of water well project sites and received technical information from the appropriate advisors. Through partnership agreements with Mekong Charity, ARO representatives are now looking forward to developing future humanitarian projects including the artesian water wells (clean drinking water) in Cambodia. The ARO delegation returned to Sydney on April the 26th after successfully delivering the humanitarian aid and assistance to the needy of Cambodia.