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The Khmer Rouge period (1975-1979) refers to the rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge political party over Cambodia, The four-year period saw the execution of approximately 3 million Cambodians leaving only 6 doctors, nurses and teachers in the entire country. The Khmer Rouge is commonly known as the Cambodian Holocaust or Cambodian Genocide (i.e. The Killing Fields).
The story begins 14 years ago with a well-connected Jewish humanitarian with projects in Cambodia, a generous Japanese Shinto entrepreneur with a heart for the plight of the Cambodians, and an adventurous Christian couple dedicated to helping the poor around the world; they worked together to start the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in 1996. Their vision became a hospital that changed lives and changed a nation. SHCH became the leading teaching hospital in Cambodia and is responsible for producing hundreds of medical professionals that are now serving the nation of Cambodia. And now the first Women’s Center with Pediatric Care will open in 2011. This is the first Women’s Center in Cambodia and will provide free care to those in need.
In October 2010 along with my wife Elaine and daughter Jennifer, we volunteered our services at SHCH. The success and growth of the medical care and teaching is outstanding. Cambodians are receiving desperately needed free medical care and Cambodian National physicians and nurses are being trained in first world medicine.
2009 was a year of remarkable milestones. It marked the 1,000,000th patient consultation at the SHCH. What a stunning achievement, to see a million people given life saving medical treatment absolutely free of charge. As the number of patients grew the staff began to wonder who the millionth person might be. It was so moving that the 1 millionth patient turned out to be a widow and mother who was infected with HIV and was receiving lifesaving treatment from the “Angel Hospital” as it is known around the country. Habitat for Humanity had just partnered with the SHCH so she received not only her medication but a new home as well!
In 2009, a group of 24 individuals eager to contribute to the cause, created HOOPS FOR HOPE, a 24-hour basketball marathon where each player was committed to raise financial support of the SHCH. They exceeded their goal and more than $25,000 was raised. In 2010 Portland Oregon joined in, raising the total contributions to over $50,000. This year HOOPS FOR HOPE has expanded with events in Boston, Portland, Los Angeles, and New Jersey for a combined goal of more than $100,000.
Unbeknownst to those leading the SHCH, there was an affluent German family who had a heart for Cambodia and had lost their daughter in a tragic accident. They decided to build a hospital in her honor to help those who could not help themselves. They spent $8 Million building a state of the art hospital in one of the most beautiful and underserved parts of the nation. Tragically the patriarch of the family was taken ill and they realized that they were not going to see their dream come true. They began to search for someone who shared their same heart to serve the people of Cambodia. They heard about the “Angel Hospital” (what the Cambodian people call SHCH) and had the opportunity to attend the millionth patient Ceremony. They were astonished to find their visions were so closely aligned and a potential partnership was conceived.
They immediately began negotiations to transfer ownership of their entire facility to Hope Worldwide to be operated as the Sonja Kill center of HOPE (http://www.skmh.org/temp/en/infrastructure.html) . All that is required is that HOPE Worldwide raise $1,500,000 to open and operate this brand new, state of the art facility. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment have already been donated and the capital campaign has begun.
Our vision is to provide at least 20% or $300,000 of this start up capital over the next 3 years. Please give generously so that this miraculous gift can become a reality. Help us help those who cannot help themselves but whose lives can be transformed by our generosity. Where else can you be part of such a miraculous story?