SE Asia Foundation, an Edmonds-based charitable organization, has announced the completion of a successful fundraising campaign to provide assistance to impoverished villages in Cambodia affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of nearly of $43,000 were made to vetted non-government organizations working with the residents of small villages outside of the city of Siem Reap.
The villagers have experienced relatively few cases of the virus, but critical needs have included food supply, education about the risks of COVID-19 and ways to avoid infection, as well as distance learning with the mandated closure of schools.
Already living at a poverty level, the villages have been further devastated by the loss of the tourist economy. People who had been living on a few dollars a day were left without even the resources to feed their families. The foundation’s early efforts were directed to the delivery of food packets, followed by the training, seeds and tools to allow the families to begin growing their own food. Some also received piglets and chicks to further their ability to become self-sufficient.
Additional support has been provided through COVID education and the provision of masks, soap, hand sanitizer and related supplies. With computers and internet not readily available, smart phones have been distributed to assist with remote schooling, and will be shared within a village. Hundreds of workbooks have also been provided.
“We’re a long way from being done, but we’ve made a good start,” said Foundation founder Bill Taylor. “With the support of generous US donors we are helping thousands of the most vulnerable families weather this pandemic.”
For more information about SE Asia Foundation visit www.seafund.org.