Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ceramic water filters distribution: 10/11/13

Profound gratitude to friends & guests from Singapore, Germany, USA, Italy and Australia for joining hands with us in giving 87 ceramic water filters, 167 sets of note books, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners and erasers, and used clothes.
There are 105 more families are in need, waiting for water filters from us. So please participate with this initiative.. It's not just this but we have more needs to work on. This poor village becomes even poorer when villagers continue to struggle to get good water for their families, especially from December until May or June. There are only 6 wells with good water (not brown) in the village of 189 homes BUT get emptied soon due to large volumes of usage.


a.   102 ceramic water filters.
b.   9 water wells (at least) need to be dug.
c.   About 269 poor students still need school materials, bags, uniforms

Our youngest brother & I standing, villagers names being called
villagers & children gather for their shares of gifts
Villagers have received ceramic water filters from us
Rows of 87 Ceramic water filters for poor villagers

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Siem Reap Angkor reliable drivers: tuk tuk, car & van

When you plan your visit to Cambodia, especially Siem Reap Angkor, please remember us. We have 12 drivers of van, cars and tuk tuks available for you. If you would require a guide for better understanding of Cambodia's complex historical connection, we can arrange all for you.. Please contact us if you have any inquiry or need booking..
The boys: Left to right - Jess (Ches), Ratha, Phors and Phally

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Siem Reap City: Real People, Real Story

There is always good light, hope & future for those who perseveres!
1.    Personal: I am Meangsophean Suon, “Meang” briefly schooled in a brutally war-torn village of Trach, Krayea commune, Stoung District, Kampong Thom Province. A teacher of mine was injured and heavily bled as he was running toward a group of kids who were running around outside our ‘poor classroom'. He told them to stay flat on the ground when the fighting erupted but the kids were too terrified to take his words so he had to risk his life for the young blood.
2.       Developmental: At the age of 9, I left home: my parents, brothers, vegetable garden, chickens & pigs for a peaceful place – Buddhist temple about 10kms away from our tremble village. Well, it’s not as peaceful as many thought. There’s no place that spared from fighting. A year later, I was ordained as Buddhist novice monk.  I was the youngest, smallest and cutest among 50+ new monks – drew much attention and weird feelings from different people, especially boys & girls at my age.
3.       Struggle: My senior monk teacher had me & my uncles with him as he was invited to live in a much remote monastery in Preah Vihear province. I was his favorite among the 3 young monks from the same poor village. But of course, all of us were forced to leave the temple along with 17 other monks, and the whole commune of 7 villages. We’re made to walk quick and straight along the path. For safety, we obliged with much sorrow in our hearts. A few people step on landmines as they tried to escape and return home. Some escaped with no bruises. Fighting was along the way, powerful sound of fire arms, rockets landing so close our convoy. We went through thick jungles under heavy rain, thunder and then blue sky, deep & cold rivers, clear & calm streams then huge craters of US bombings which left from 1970s. After full day of walk, we arrived a tribal village whose dialect is not understood. We thought we’d be all died there. Arriving at an inhabited area about 8pm didn’t give us a feeling of joy or relief but deeper worries.
4.       Survival: After becoming the MOST favorite & adorable little monk to the people in Preah Vihear province about 7 months, we were allowed to return to our original temple in Kampong Thom Province. Such opportunity was opened due to my grandfathers and father’s fearless effort in negotiating with some (military) officials for our return.  They took big risk in going to meet us at unknown and war-raging place. Thankfully, they found me alive & chubby that’s very contradicted to hundreds other evictees who were died from malaria or severely got sick there. Among 24 people in our group who stayed in that particular temple, the one who’s spared from catching the virus was Meang – thank GOD!
5.       Rebuilding: Well, I and everyone who knew me thought that I was the strongest boy that wasn't sick of such decease but I was attacked by malaria when I got back to our home village. That’s so scary and my family was seriously concerned about me. At the age of 16, I moved to Phnom Penh. No family, no friends, no place to stay, but hard-headed me still pack my books and asked my another senior monk to bring/escort me there. Survival kits: "eat whatever I have, study hard, make friends, gain self-confidence and go farther than I think I can be". After moving around a few Buddhist temples, encountered dozen of struggles, I didn’t lose hope in life and I was so fortunate to meet an Australian-British couple. We became friends; they helped, inspired and encouraged me with my studies & life challenges. Their small amount of investment in my life paid out so well. I wished I knew where Mr. Richard and Caroline H. Brown are now. I desire to thank them for providing me hope and strength when I had no one there to help me.
6.       Philippines: I also wished to express my most sincerest gratitude to a few dozens of great people for supporting me when departed my little ward in Phnom Penh for my studies in Manila. My professors, friends and school’s staff were such a great instrument in shaping my life and making me grow. I owe you guys so much. “Thank you so much for taking good care of me when I was severely sick of Tuberculosis”. Dr. Chuck Quinley and his faculty members were so gracious and kind. Your kindness and compassion taught me to serve & love others with much depth and strength.
7.       Family Factor: I come to realization that I cannot survive well and live a happy life without spending time taking good care of my family and close relatives. I had to return home for a few main reasons: my 2 adorable youngest brothers – Luch & Sampouv; my other younger brothers & sister; and my other cousins. I knew I had a calling to be a role model for my family & relatives, most important than that is providing them with education and fatherly care!

The idea is RAW. I own nothing, but I owe so many things to others including you - dear readers. My intention in establishing this venture is not for riches, fame or farther fortune of this world but as an extension of passion and dedication toward my family & close relatives. So below are our happy & well-mannered recipients of YOUR strong confidence in MEANG;.   
A.      Rin Rotha: 20 years old. A hard working boy whose father was a Khmer Rouge soldier. He was 3 when the former fighter left him, his baby sister and his mother for much painful and tearful war. And he didn’t return home but live happily somewhere else when the war was over. NOW, he drives tuk tuk for us, make little saving and hope to go to university. He's taking some English classes at Panhasastra University of Cambodia..
B.      Pha Phally: 21 years old, high school graduated also. A sweet & obedient boy of many siblings. He’s a super strong boy even when his mother was dying of cancer in his arms. He closed her eyes and told everyone that she’s just left us. He’s not distracted any longer as we’re always at his side and supporting him. We have a tuk tuk for him also now and making some incomes to support himself and his siblings..
C.      Pha Vong: Younger brother of Phally. A boy of many scars. He just graduated from high school and will take teacher's training examination next month.. We're supporting him to be a teacher at our home village. Very much in need of teachers there..
D.      Chib Jess (Ches): A son of former Khmer Rouge soldier. He also graduated from high school last year and driving tuk tuk for us. He has a very difficult life, lived with his grandfather and still dreaming to go to university next year.
E.       Hel Chantha: My another cousin of former Khmer Rouge soldier & physician. He’s in town with us for his university. Despite of poverty, he is considered luckiest among my other cousins as he’s still have father & mother around him.
F.       Suon Phors and Suon Kosol: my 2 younger brothers are at different universities now. I am so grateful for their hard work in helping managing/running our daily business operations.  
G.     Suon Davin: My father’s youngest brother – planned to go to university but changed his mind to drive tuk tuk and make a living instead..

Beside these 8 boys, through your patronage almost 5 years, I also take care of school fees of my other 4 cousins and we even extend our hands toward a few dozen kids in our home village as well. Real faces and further updates will follow before year end.

NOTE: I am fully responsible for their lodging, schooling, and daily needs.. Thank you so much for your time in reading this long writing..  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Raising funds for Ceramic Water Filters, Dec. 2013 (Updated version)

Project name: "Pro LIFE": Long-Term Initiatives for Family & Education

We are at The Prohm Roth Inn, Prohm Roth guesthouse & Pro Angkor Travel start raising some funds for our community projects that’s located about 110 miles east of Siem Reap City. Trach village (of Sammaki commune, Brasat Ballaing district, Kampong Thom Province) is a very remote and depressing village, never seen a single foreign visitor, don't even mention about receiving any haze of benefits from Cambodian massive tourism industry. This poverty-ridden community of 170 families really needs help.

Why: Water = life. Good/clean water = good/healthy life. The rising pollution from un-treated water and contaminated soil start to hurt people’s life. The villagers don’t even boil water when they draw from the well.

WhatCeramic Water Filters: We plan to purchase from 150 to 200 units before the year end. 

When: We set to bring all the purchased Ceramic water filters to give to the villagers by mid of December.

Cost: This type of ceramic water filter is well-tested and recognized by W.H.O and cost $15/each including delivery.

Should you have any question, please contact Mr. MEANG directly via mobile +855 12 466 495, +855 97 933 4337 
Email: smart_khmer@yahoo.com 
We would like to invite everyone to support this project and/or join this JOURNEY for CHANGE!PLEASE take note that, the real benefactors of this JOURNEY are visitors and villagers, NOT us. We are merely MEDIATORS for our visitors and villagers to enjoy each other, share their culture, life and work.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Honest tuk tuk, Car & Van Drivers in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh!

Dear friends of Pro Angkor Travel

I am Meang, a young Cambodian based in Siem Reap Angkor. I have the privilege to present to you our great team of drivers in Siem Reap and good friends in Phnom Penh. We have cars, van and great purple tuk tuk in Siem Reap!
Your presence and big encouragement really mean so much to all of us. I have my cousins, unlces, brothers and sister help me with our family businesses: Prohm Roth Guesthouse, The Prohm Roth Inn & Pro Angkor Travel
We are really ready to serve you around Siem Reap and to remote villages beyond Angkor temples. "You give us a reason to rejoice!"
Our 2 tuk tuk friends in Phnom Penh

And I've done my best within my mean to help my local friends to get works and be able to support their respective families. Cambodian spirit of self-support, personal endeavor and social initiative will live on due to your patronage!

So please join hands in providing love and care to many!
Here are 2 of our drivers in Siem Reap Angkor

Imagine about the SEVEN wonder:

1.      Imagine: I didn’t have today; would I be able to create this message for you?
2.     Imagine: I didn’t get help from many generous people around the globe, how could I extend some help to others?
3.     Imagine: I didn’t dare to take severe risk in starting my small business during the global recession (2008); would I be able to learn the hardship it gave us that time?
4.     Imagine: You didn’t trust and support my small business, would I be able to feed my family & relatives and support their education and creating jobs for them?
5.     Imagine: What could my poor peasant parents give me when I ask them before leaving them at 9 years old?
6.     Imagine: Will Cambodian enjoy, experience peace and happiness without huge help from great friends around the world?
7.     Imagine: Do poor Cambodians at remote villages receive some shares/blessings from massive tourists flow in a few areas of Cambodia?