Sally Hetherington

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Developing countries

Cambodia, Developing countries, Human and Hope Association, Preschool

It’s that time of the year again.

If you had the chance to change a child’s life forever, would you? Six-year-old *Kosal had behaviour difficulties. He often hit his family members, throwing violent tantrums and not listening to anyone. His family was desperate and needed to do something when they found Human and Hope Association’s preschool program. When he was accepted into the preschool program at Human and Hope Association, something remarkable happened; Kosal began to change. It wasn’t easy. But with the  ...

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Australia, Cambodia, Developing countries, Human and Hope Association, Poverty, Responsible Tourism

The Problem with False Promises

There used to be a Khmer volunteer who taught at Human and Hope Association in addition to his full-time work teaching at a nearby NGO. The NGO he taught at was funded primarily by Australians who frequently visited the organisation. He formed a close relationship with a lady he called ‘Mum’. One day in early 2013, this volunteer came into our office and proudly told me that his ‘Mum’ was going to pay for him to move to Australia to study. I was sceptical. I knew how difficult it was to get  ...

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Cambodia, Developing countries, Development, Empowerment, Human and Hope Association, Poverty Tourism, Thoughts, Voluntourism

Treating Children as ‘Team Building’ Activities

One day in February 2016, Human and Hope Association was approached by a tour company in Phnom Penh. They wanted to bring 15 tourists from India to Human and Hope Association to “teach, play with the kids and do something competitive” so that those tourists would have ‘team building’. If we allowed them to do that, they would give us a donation in return. I was absolutely mortified. I had known that this was common practice with some tour companies, however, we had never been approached to  ...

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Cambodia, Charity, Developing countries, Human and Hope Association

Not Everyone Can Be Helped

As a general rule, you shouldn’t become attached to the people you are trying to help. Sometimes, it is difficult not to. You tend to take a vested interest in someone because you see the situation they are living in, and know they deserve better. This is how I felt about three siblings, who I will call A, B and C. These siblings lived near Human and Hope Association and we would see them collecting trash on a daily basis. Aged between four and thirteen, the two brothers and sisters were  ...

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