Tabitha Update - November 2011

November 23, 2011

Dear friends and partners,

It’s a very busy month for us – a very good month.  This week we have seven house building teams in country out of 13 teams in the month of November. 250 families are getting a new starter home this month. Someone asked me how long the houses last. It’s a difficult question to answer because the houses we build are starter homes. This is the beginning of a sturdy permanent home. Our task is not to build a finished permanent home but to begin the process of a family moving in the direction of dreaming for and completing their own dream home – Cambodian style.

The Tabitha houses are the beginning of a process. Cambodians have a cultural norm that dictates that a person should die in their own home.  For our families, one of their greatest fears is to die without a permanent home. Tabitha houses are the beginning – over the years our families expand and build up their starter home. One of the mums who received such a home stated simply: “You will forget us when you leave – but on the day that I die, it is your face that I will see.” How long does a Tabitha house last – they last a very long time but not in their original form as families build up and change what is started.

Last month I wrote to you about the floods affecting so many of our families. I wrote and shared about Prey Veng and our area in Prek Komdieng.  The floods have subsided in this area and the farmers are busy. They plowed their field while the waters were still knee deep – today over 300 hectares are growing rice again – another 400 hectares are in process as the floods keep receding – knee deep and the plowing begins and the wells take over – we are so very thankful.

Someone asked if people sell their land. They used to – when life was very tough – land was sold for $150 per plot – now this land is not for sale. The farmers tell us that their earnings are better than going away to the city for work – their earnings pay their bills, they get their children back, they eat well, they can achieve their dreams – no, the land with wells or ponds are no longer for sale.

Despite all this we have hundreds of families still waiting for a well – so many of you have helped this past month but we are in need of so many more as the floods begin to recede from Pursat, Banteay Meanchaey and Kompong Thom.

We have started 9 new schools – we thought we had completed several of them. As the funders came to visit the finished schools – I was saddened by the sight. The 6 room schools were full to the brim – on average 45 students per room – two sessions a day with different students. As we arrived at the schools we were met with hundreds more children for whom there was no room. One young child cried in the arms of one of my staff – why don’t you have room for me, she sobbed. These schools are getting more rooms from the same funders – people who are touched by the need.

It is a very good month – a month of hope and dreams – a month where my God has brought so many of you to stand with those who cannot stand alone. I am so very privileged to be a part of this and a part of you. It is a very good month.

Janne


Before...
...and now.
A fine rice field...
...flooded with water...
...now there is rice growing again!
Comparing to the old schools the new buildings are a great improvement...
...but more rooms are needed for all the children.

Janne’s blog

Janne Ritskes, de van oorsprong Nederlandse oprichtster van Tabitha Foundation, bericht regelmatig vanuit Cambodja (Engelstalig).

> Zie ook de Blogspot Janne’s Journey (opent in nieuw venster).

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