Archive for April, 2009

Press Conference

April 26, 2009

Hi friends! The world is becoming louder and louder as the days go by. What is next after my historical trip to Preah Vihear in Cambodia? Um, a Press Conference at Phnom Penh with the national reporters and journalists! This was something I was not expecting but it happened, and it happened on Friday the 24 of April, um! On 23 April my Cambodian brother, Mr. Phorn called me up and told me that Mr. Moeng Sonn, the President of the Cambodia Civilisation Foundation (KCF) is organising a Press Conference and that my participation is neccessary in the conference. I declined immediately, thinking, it was not neccessary for me to participate.Besides, I didn’t have the time and money to go Phnom Penh. 10 minutes later, Mr. Moeng Sonn himself called me up and informed me that I should participate in the press conference. Now, I could not escape, therefore I had to accept the invitation. The next day, I took the earliest bus to Phnom Penh and arrived at the conference hall at KCF. They were still setting up the venue, therefore I cheched into a guest house and rested there for a while. At 2:20 pm I went backed to KCF center. Now the stage was set for the conference. The conference was well attended by about 9 reporters and journalist from the TV,news papers and radios along with some staffs of KCF. I was the last person to talk for which I was happy. My talk was simple; greetings, appreciation for organising the press conference, brief report on SLM’s activities in Cambodia, our historical trip to Preah Vihear for the medical service and to make assistment of the damage caused by the Thai soldiers to the Cambodian civilians on April 3rth.s attack, my own observation about the soldiers, the refugees in the refugee camp in Preah Vihear, some positive commends, and call on the Cambodian rich and the powerful people to help, to take care, and provide the needs of the poor people in general and the refugees at preah Vihear particularly. By the way, I talked through a Cambodian interpreter who did an awesome job. To me, the press conference was interesting and challenging. Besides, it was a golden opportunity for me to let my feelings be known publicly about the poor and unfortunate people in Cambodia. I was happy that I even went further by saying that the rich and the powerful people in Cambodia are not doing enough for the poor people.
Right after the meeting, everybody left the room very quickly except for a few of us for a short chatting.
I would like all the readers to please pray for Cambodia, especially for the refugees in Preah Vihear. These are the attention they need immediately:
1. Shelters for 260 families.
2. Food for around 1000 refugees
3. Clothing
4. Water
5. medicines, etc etc.

Thanks

Rev. Jonah Amer
April 27, 2009

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Children back at School!

April 22, 2009

Hi everyone!

Been such a long time! Um, SLM children are all backed at school and our school compounds are noisy and lively again! Unlike the schooling system/session in the country where I was born, brought, and educated; in Cambodia, all schools close/end academic year by the end of June. This is followed with a long summer break; at least 3 months of summer vacation. It’s pretty long, right? Right after the summer vacation, the new academic year begins in early October each year. This means that the students, the teachers and the parents have enough time to prepare for the new schooling year. Of course, this event doesn’t affect the SLM’s Evening Language Academy for it has only a week or so vacation between Christmas and New Year.

The schools at Buffalo village is in full swing with 170 children under 4 full  time teachers. Mr. Polly is the teacher-in-charge. One more class has been upgraded this year. We also appointed one more teacher from Veil Rein town. The academic year opened by the middle of September. All students have received their textbooks and school materials and set of unifrom for all new comers. The onfortunate thing is that, some senior students stopped studying to make money for themselves and their families. From last year)

Visit to Preah Vihear

April 22, 2009

My historical visit to the war-torn border between Thailaing and Cambodia, called Preah Vihear begun on Friday, the 17th of April 2009 from Sihanouk Ville-Phnom Penh-Seim Reap-An long to Preah Vihear, covering almost 1500 kms by bus. This means that our journey was not easy. I was invited to go and visit this historical place by the President of the Cambodian Civilisation Foundation, Mr. Moeng Sonn and my Cambodian brother, Mr. Phorn. The team consisted about 15 people including my interpretor from SLM, Mr. Rachha.
The journey was long and tiring as the road to Preah Vihear was not really good, especially about 70 kms towards Preah Vihear. On arrival at the base of the mountain, the team rested in two wooden guest houses for the night.
Waking up early in the morning, the team went up to the preah Vihear mountain which was very high and the road, which was recently made was narrow and dangerous. Just normal vihicles can’t climb such high and stiff road!!! Reaching the mountains, we all walked up further to the top of the mountain since there were no road for vihicles. Reaching the top of the Mountain, we were greeted by the General of the army, Mr. Dara. The team also have a time of sharing with the general and we were brieved about the locations,the atmosphere and the recent attach by Thai soldiers from the other side of the mountain. We were also shown the bullet marks on the walls and doors. After the team left, I could have some private time of sharing with the general. The team gave away some medicines to the soldiers on the mountain. Later more medicines were sent to the soldiers and military police on the mountain. The team also survied the market which was completely destroyed by the Thai soldiers on April 3, 2009. The Khmer soldiers on the mountain were all very friendly and cooperative. They appreciated out visit.
Preah Vihear mountain is famous because there is an ancient hindu temples on the top of this mountain. Besides, this mountain is located in a very strategic location which is very close to Thailand.
After decending from the mountain, the team revisited the Refugee camp where more than 270 families are living together in about 4 buildings that has no walls and no separate rooms. These buildings seem to be under construction. This means that the buildings are opened and there’s no privacy for each families as they can see each others both the day and night times. Their living condition was terrible and are exposed to many dangers. Some of the children were totally or partially naked as they did not have enough clothes. Since they did not have enough time to collect their things from their home when the Thai soldiers suddenly attached their village, they did not have enough money with them.
Our mission (SLM) prepared two bagful of medicines for the refugees, the military police and the soldiers on the mountain. Those medicines were given away to the patients. We were sorry that we did not have enough medicines for some sicknesses like fungus infection etc. Talking with the refugees in the camp was heart breaking for they were really fighting for their survival. The team spent about 4 hours with them. Leaving them in that condition and heading towards Phnom Penh made me so sad. How I wished to stay with them at least for a couple of days, if not for the time, responsiblity in my working place and the team’s schedule.
I am praying to the LORD that he will give me another opportunity to get back to those poor and needy people as soon as possible.
Returning backed to Sihanouk Ville on Monday, I started talking with friend and students and also writing emails to friends, challenging them to be part of the sufferings of the people in Preah Vihear by donating medicines, clothes, money ot whatever.
Please pray for these poor and needy ones in Preah Vihear. Thank you very much and God bless all readers.

Jonah Amer
April 22, 2009