Handicapped Association of Siem Reap
Dec 28, 2003
The Handicapped Association of Siem Reap
One out of every 250 people in Cambodia is an amputee. Unfortunately, on top of having to deal with their injury, amputees are heavily discriminated against. Even when they are able to work, they cannot find work because of bias.
Sovantha is the president and founder of the Handicapped Association of Siem Reap. He was a de-miner who lost both legs to a land mine. After the accident he went through the initial shock and depression and started begging in the streets. Through amazing force of will he decided that he could do better with his life than begging. He got an education and started selling books from a bicycle cart.
From there he decided to help other amputees escape from living on the streets begging. He founded the Handicapped Association of Siem Reap. He convinced hotels and restaurants to hire amputees. He's convinced gift shops to carry product made by amputees. For the most crippled, who would otherwise be unable to work he sets up with portable book stores. A man with no hands can still bike around and sell books. The slogan of the organization is "I don't want to beg, I want to work"
Unfortunately, it is not an official organization and he may be forced to shut it down. The government in Phnom Penh is demanding a $170 registration fee.
I'm not making an individual difference at the land mine museum, but perhaps I can make one here. I'm asking 20 of you to paypal me $10. I'll make sure that the money gets to him. $200 will be enough for the registration fee and transportation to and from Phnom Penh.
This goal has now been reached. Read the Sovantha update for more information.
Delighted to hear from you. What you're doing seems very challenging. I'd like to make a donation, but would prefer not to use Paypal. Are there any other options?
Thom O'Connor - Dec 29, 2003
Great work Adam. Best $10 I ever spent. Good luck out there.
Kathryn Renta - Jan 04, 2004
Sent away my dear. Fantastic idea! Bueno suerte.
Tim Hayman - Jan 04, 2004
Great writing Adam, thank you for sharing. I'll keep you updated on progress with the right departments at Chron and Weekly. I'm paypalling $13, you might want to check see if you're not getting zinged by their fees ($3) and so ask for either more people or more bucks. Good luck and have fun!
Misha Frenklak - Jan 05, 2004
On its way. Let us know how it turns out.