“One year later, I am proud to report that WaterAid has successfully established two well mechanic shops in Kako and Ghosi blocks in the Jehanabad district of Bihar. As of February 29th, 12 new mechanics have repaired 85 hand pumps, restoring access to clean water for 12,386 people in need!” Becky Straw, co-founder of The Adventure Project, an organization dedicated to helping people have access to clean water.
We observe from the back of an open-air classroom the teacher announcing our arrival. Children, perhaps five years old, stand and sing a song they have memorized for class. They are learning to speak, read and write English to best prepare them for the future. It is soon time for lunch, and the students head to the outdoor sink to wash their hands. Each child receives a generous portion of rice, broth, vegetables and meat or fish. Patrick says they are growing like bamboo shoots. Most of the children arrive at CCF very stunted in height for their age with many health issues. They sit together at communal tables enjoying one another’s company instead of having to fight over food. The children have formed relationships of trust with one another. Their smiles and laughter are proof.
The three facilities AEC operates, two in the rural countryside of Cambodia and one in Phnom Penh, are shining examples of the organization’s ear care work. With very little money, these audiologists have created an environment of calm and beauty to reassure their anxious young patients. There is a curving line of small Buddha statues in the waiting room resembling the children waiting their turn. Wonderful posters adorn the walls picturing friendly animals that teach children about ear health. The technicians are gentle, caring professionals. The children we see today are all HIV positive, living in an orphanage.