Two employees from Appco UK’s charity division, and two fundraisers from the Appco UK network, travelled to Cambodia with World Vision to see the impact the charity is having on impoverished communities.
World Vision UK partners with Appco Group UK to assist in raising awareness and on-going funds for various global initiatives, including the charity’s work in Cambodia. Appco spoke to Richard Snowden about the trip…
Our itinerary was split into two parts, which highlighted the difference World Vision can make in a community over five years, with the help of donors such as those signed up by face-to-face fundraisers in our network.
We spent the first two days in new area development project (ADP) where World Vision has been working for around12 months. We then visited longer-standing ADPs, where the charity has been involved for five or six years, and the change in those communities is huge, thanks to the support they’ve received from World Vision.
The difference hope can make
I found the first part of the trip difficult because the people in the new ADPs are desperately in need of help and World Vision had only recently started working with these communities.
It was really humbling to hear how limited people’s aspirations were. When we spoke to many of the parents, they said that they only hoped they would be able to afford medicine when (not if) their children got sick again.
The difference was absolutely incredible between these new ADPs and the communities where World Vision has been working for at least five years. You could see how people’s lives have been transformed in a relatively short space of time.
For example, World Vision had recently installed a water pump and filtration system for one of the communities we visited, meaning people no longer have to walk in the 40-degree heat to fetch water. This was something that the community was very proud of and very keen for us to see.
World Vision is also helping to encourage more of a sense of community and information sharing through support groups. For example, in the community we visited, a mother and child group meets twice a week, and all the mothers bring food, which is then divided between all the children.
Two things happen as a result: the first is that all the children who attend are guaranteed a hearty meal twice a week – helping to fight all-too-common signs of malnutrition in young babies and children. The second is the support for the mothers – they ask each other questions and offer advice to one another.
When I asked parents in this established community about their hopes for their children’s future, their responses were much more positive and long-term, such as planning for a good education and work for their children.
The experience was truly life changing and, while the desperation and suffering was apparent, the work of organisations such as World Vision gives the most valuable thing a person could ever ask for: hope for the future.
Richard is a senior field development manager in Appco UK’s face-to-face fundraising division, Appco Group Support. His role involves working with the face-to-face fundraisers in the UK network, coaching and mentoring them to the standards Appco and World Vision expects. Richard travelled to Cambodia with Kate McKinlay, General Manager of Appco Group Support, and fundraisers Sara Sabbagh and Ollie Romani.