Dear friends and partners,
The past 6 weeks in Cambodia have been extremely difficult as the Covid virus with its variants has taken hold in the country. Up until then, Cambodia had relatively few cases of the virus but it has now multiplied to over 20,000 cases. The economic impact of the pandemic has been manifolding with many people losing their sources of income before the variant outbreak. Now that misery has been compounded by the disease affecting many people.
For Tabitha it has resulted in increasing difficulty for the staff carrying out their work. For a month the main city of Phnom Penh was completely locked down with people unable to move outside their homes. This left many without food to eat and the resulting hunger was sad to see. In the countryside, our staff were confronted with difficulties moving from village to village and house to house.
Despite all the doom and gloom, the staff were able to complete 24 houses for our poorest families. This month they have begun the process of building 44 more houses, as well as installing 25 wells and working on the building of three schools. The savings program continues with over 6000 families. The amount saved each week has decreased yet the families continue. The impact of our work has kept many in food and incomes, supporting their larger extended families. We are so thankful for that gift.
An example of such a family is Thouren Hourng who lives in Kampong Channang province. He has been saving with Tabitha for the past two years. During this time, he was able to save enough money to buy chickens, ducks, and quails. He was able to save enough to buy materials for cages and to pay for vaccines for all his livestock. He was able to buy seeds, fertilizer, and other planting materials as well as paying his share for a well, buying a water pump and building an irrigation system for all his crops and animals as well as bringing water into his home. The pandemic has brought untold hardship to Thouren and his family yet like so very many thousands of families who are and have been in the Tabitha programs, he can feed his family and earn an income from the work of his hands.
I am so very grateful to my God for each of you who have stood with our families such as Thouren, enabling so very many of our families to be able to eat and feed their families and earn an income during this very difficult time. I am so very thankful to my God for Tabitha staff and their ability and ingenuity in working through this daunting experience. As my staff would say, stay well and stay healthy.