In the Siem Reap region of Cambodia, people’s lives are improving, one freshwater well at a time. Funds provided through the ASEA Advancing Life Foundation on behalf of ASEA associates and employees from around the world have allowed families to avoid illness, prepare food safely, and provide for their children.
The Difference a Garden Makes
ASEA associate Angela Westmeyer funded the construction of one family’s freshwater well and then had the privilege of meeting the family during an expedition this February. Westmeyer plans on raising funds with her ASEA team to help pay for a new home to be built for the family. She was so moved by their story that she donated money to help plant them a garden, as well as funds for a new water well at the health clinic used by many villagers nearby.
ASEA Managing Director of New Market Expansion Adolfo Avalos saw the dire needs of all the families once he was in Cambodia and decided to donate funds for both a well and a garden.
“I really enjoyed working in the garden with the families and meeting the people benefiting from our work,” says Avalos. “When I heard their stories, I realized how much they needed the fresh water. I was particularly touched when I saw the old well and the polluted water they had been drinking. I was very glad that the new well was located at the home of a senior woman who lives with her daughter and grandson. She had a broken hand yet still had to carry the water to her house. It was very difficult to see how hard they work for their livelihood and for so little pay. But I felt privileged to be able to help them with a new freshwater well and help make their lives a bit easier. If I had not been there I would have never realized the true impact a well has on the community.”
Donations Benefiting Entire Families
Another volunteer, ASEA Gold Executive Hedy Mok, donated money to pay for a well at the clinic and donated empty ASEA bottles for each child to carry clean water home from the school. She also provided school supplies for the children.
An eager team of associates, ASEA Platinum Executives Ann & Hugh Jenings, donated a well to a family in need who live in a very remote part of Cambodia. Visitors can only access the home via motorcycle, as there are only trails between the rice fields wide enough to walk down or ride on. The family’s home only has three walls and is a very humble home built from branches and palm fronds. They have two young children who are often sick from the unclean water they’ve been subsisting on before their new freshwater well.
Even the eldest child was not able to attend school because the family could not spare the money to buy the required school uniform. A uniform costs only $40 USD, but any of the family’s spare money has gone to pay for medical bills. Now, with access to clean water, these parents and children will be much healthier and will be able to send their son to school with a new uniform.
ASEA Volunteers Witness the Impact
ASEA Platinum Executive Alan Noble and his wife Tanya donated fifteen wells to families in the village. “In my early 20’s I spent over eight months trekking through 22 countries in Africa,” says Noble. “I saw some of the greatest sights in the world. But alongside those wonders, I will never forget the poverty and lack of even the most basic needs we in the Western world take for granted. When my wife and I saw the video of the children in Cambodia, drinking water that was poisoning their little bodies, we knew we wanted to contribute to this project. Some of these kids have never known a time without sickness because of their unclean water.”
ASEA Triple Diamond Executive Bobby Martin and ASEA Platinum Executive Sylvie Wilmot also donated freshwater wells to families in need.
“It was surprising just how little money it took to build a clean water well and have such a profound impact on so many people’s lives,” Alan continues. “This is a perfect project for the Advancing Life Foundation and ASEA associates worldwide, as it allows us the opportunity to continue to impact lives for the better, even well beyond the reach of our businesses.”