I'm writing on behalf of my friend Bryan Hendon who is a Long time San Francisco Firefighter and Paramedic who traveled through Asia earlier this winter. Bryan has a heart as big as the world, and, as you could probably surmise from his profession, helping people comes naturally to him. He is the kind of guy you would trust with your life, and many people do!
Anyway, while in Asia, Cambodia to be more specific, he traveled through a small village (Beng Village has a population of about 1500 people) where although a family there lives on about one US dollar per DAY, the people were among the happiest he had ever met. Their lives are simple, they have nothing, and yet they are filled with joy. He made many friends there and has been able to keep in touch with one or two of them via the internet.
After returning home, Bryan learned of Beng village's plight. A series of powerful storms this past spring washed away a dam that was vital to the welfare of the village. The dam enabled the villagers to maintain a clean water supply for drinking and cooking; it also provided irrigation water for their rice crop; the road that ran along its top gave villagers and the outside world alike access in and out of the village, thus encouraging a new developing tourist trade and it provided law enforcement a venue by which they could continue to control illegal deforestation of the woods nearby - deforestation which has become a potential environmental disaster. Without the dam and the simple benefits it provided, disease will surely follow and the already precarious lives of the Beng villagers will definitely deteriorate.
Now, the solution: through his friends, Bryan has learned that the dam could be rebuilt for only $5000 US dollars and he has set about raising the money personally to so so. He wants to raise the money by mid-June, when he plans to return to Cambodia and Beng Village and see that the dam is re-built. His friend will meet him and help him to be sure that the money goes exactly where it is supposed to go to see that the project is completed successfully.
I sent Bryan a check this morning. I hope you might too. We have so much in this country. Those people have nothing. But they have a spirit of joy! We could learn a lot from them. And we can start by helping them get their dam back.
If you would like to help, you could send a check directly to
Bryan John Hendon
San Anselmo, CA 94960
or, if you prefer to pay on-line you could google his website:
and click on the Cambodia Dam Project 2009 and follow the PayPal directions. While in the website you might also check out his travel section and see his photos of his travels to Asia, many of which include pictures of children of Beng Village.
Since Bryan is doing this totally on his own, he is not a non-profit so there wouldn't be a tax deduction for any donation, but look at it this way - the money will be going directly to the reconstruction of the dam and not to paying for office expenses or secretarial salaries or executive suites!
Thanks for reading this and I hope you will consider reaching out to help the Beng Villagers. Bryan's plan is to ask anyone who donates to send him a photo so he can take all the photos with him and show them to the villagers so they will know who helped them.