What type are you? The folks at Kantha Bopha children’s hospital want to know.
One 17 year old American high school student chose a different way to give something back to the Cambodian people who touched his heart. It wasn’t so much giving back as leaving something of himself behind; something that could truly mean the gift of life for a poor Cambodian one day:
“I am a 17 year old American High School student from Redondo Beach, California. I traveled to Cambodia in April 2007 with my mother and sister. Having read about the contemporary history of Cambodia, specifically the genocide, I did know what to expect. We were greeted by the most beautiful culture and humble people. The Cambodians are the true resource of their country. Their peaceful and curious nature is so touching. When we were in Angkor Wat, I felt like doing something to help but with such a short visit and personal limitations as a tourist, I wondered what I could do? The Kantha Bopha Foundation children’s hospital (founded by Dr. Beat Richner) was in desperate need of blood donations. The most needed blood types were “B” and “AB”. Fortunately I am “B”. I donated blood and hopefully saved one child’s life as a result. It is very touching to see the mothers with their sick children coming to and lining up at the hospital in hopes of receiving much needed care and treatment. Please consider doing the same when and if you are in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, there are three hospitals funded solely by charitable donations.”
This admirable young man is not the only one to stop by the hospital and very literally give of himself. Another traveler known as ‘the soul cultivator‘ shared her experiences donating blood at the hospital in an entertaining travelogue, entitled aptly enough – “Haemo-Globing:”
We passed the Kantha Bopha children’s hospital, as I looked over the kids were standing up on the open space of the second floor balcony, they all wore hospital gowns, many of them looked very sick indeed, some completely bald, most were wired up to mobile drips with nurses and concerned parents by there sides. But they were all drenched in the most spectacular hue that came from the Angkor sunset which made them all smile and glow like little angels. I shall never forget that image.
If you ever find yourself here in Siem Reap a honourable thing to do is to give blood to the Kantha Bopha Foundation. This children’s hospital is on the same road leading to Angkor Wat. This hospital has two sister hospitals in the capital of Phnom Penh, between them they manage to deal with 2000 visits from just the sick children a day, this amounts to 800,000 visits within the out patients department and 75,000 admissions a year, these include 9000 operations, 400,000 vaccinations and 12,000 births in one whole year. 3,300 families receive health care education a day. They estimate that without Kantha Bopha 3,200 children a year would die from HIV, Malaria and Dengue fever which killed over four hundred kids last year but effected 400,00 people…
And… Dr. Beat Richner, the founder of the hospital, performs pretty much every Saturday evening at 7.15 PM on the cello to draw visitors to the hospital for his Bach renditions and a presentation on the great work the hospital is doing.
(If you are planning a trip to Angkor Wat please check out Savuth’s tuk tuk transportation services at Angkortuktuk.org)