Cambodia map:
Sovantha Update
Mar 11, 2004

Sem Sovantha

Angkor Association of the Disabled

The guys at the car wash yelled out "hello" as a I walked past.  Entering the guesthouse, everyone yells out "Hi, Adam!  Good to see you again."  Everyone gave me a big hello, that is except for Colin.  He instead greets me with "What took you so long?  You were supposed to be here 5 weeks ago.  Could you type up this letter to the World Food Program for Sovantha?"

And so, I found myself instantly sucked back into volunteering.

The Angkor Association for the Disabled (AAD) is now a registered NGO.  I want to thank the following donors who made this possible:

Cheryl Brummer
Ayesha Burns
Tim Hayman
Carol Franger
Misha Frenklak
Jenny at Fresh Air Guesthouse
Ben Katz
Ken Katz
Thom O'Connor
Kathryn Renta
Christine Ricardo

I would also like to thank Michelle, from, and my Dad for their proof-reading and editing.

The letter to the World Food Program (WFP) was asking for assistance for a group of AAD musicians who are not earning enough to feed their families.  Colin and I made several trips out to the WFP office, but missed the director.  Colin was supposed to go in for a meeting with them last Tuesday, I'm still awaiting news.

In addition to that letter, I wrote a brochure and a poster to raise awareness about AAD among the tourists visiting Siem Reap.  This advertising this should bring more donations, increase revenue for the AAD musicians and street vendors, and hopefully find a volunteer to replace me.

Unlike volunteering at the landmine museum, this work was definitely rewarding.  It was clear that my writing would directly help people put food on their tables, and help them move away from a life of begging and living on the streets. 

If you have a desire to volunteer, AAD is looking for business advisors, proposal writers and english teachers! 

Here is a link to the final version of the AAD brochure.  The graphic design for it was done by Linus Harms: [ click here ]

Gary Christ - Dec 19, 2007

Dear Adam,

Very interesting travel site.  Maybe you would like to hear aout Sem Sovantha and AAD in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

I met Sovantha selling books at the "old market" around Dec.  2003 and he handed me a brochure.  I read it with great interest and have been supporting AAD ever since.  You did a great job of portraying Sovantha and the mission of AAD.

ADD has made great strides to help dozens of families around Siem Reap and is now helping other NGO's incorperate various projects to assist disabled folks.  I live at the AAD commune 6 months of the year when i am not back at the farm near Chicago, IL.

I also read your blog concerning Aki Ra and must comment that poisioned letters can do much to destroy the good works and intentions of his humanitarian work.  I also know several of the responders/defenders of Aki Ra and would say theie comments are far more accurate of this mans vision and integrity.

Aki Ra has offered to train AAD members the art of demining, a skill that is greatly needed.

AAD had a smear campaing from a "volunteer" who seemed to be on a witch hunt instead of sharing her talents.  The result was a horribly slanderous, web-based attack on Sovantha founded on heresay from disgruntled, jealous people.  This kind of cheap attack only hurts and draws energy away from AAD.  Responding after these "straw man" attacks are weak.

Please be more careful in writing your opinions, especially when they are formed from a competitor.  Aki Ra definetly gets more "bang for the buck" than any other demineing group, could be why they disparage Aki Ra.

Hope you come back to Siem Reap and visit the new headquarters of AAD and The Landmine Museum.

AADs website is and mine is

Thanks again for your contributions to AAD,


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