Visual Storytelling Album Pt. II
The #HCinCambodia project wrapped up a couple weeks ago. However, to paint a much clearer picture it is just getting started. The pictures and videos below only capture a fraction of the hope and joy that we pray this farm will yield in years to come for the rescued sex-trafficked girls and the community that it will host.
The initial investment in infrastructure is rigorous and demanding. Nonetheless, this is merely the first step and perhaps the easiest part. Laying a good foundation is paramount and this is the reason for the two-month commitment that we made to build and oversee development in Cambodia from November to early January. New cultural context, new management contacts, new soil, we needed this time to ensure our foundation was solid and that we really designed a system that considered both the cultural and ecological needs of the community.
We made an investment in the future. Unfortunately, we were not able to see a large majority of the fruit of our labor by the time we waved goodbye to our farm managers. We did see some eggs scrambled and egg drop soup sipped, but we realize much of the investment of a sustainability project like ours mimics most of the process of the hundreds of fruit trees and various crop varieties we planted on the farm. It takes years of maturation and care to grow its root structure and produce beautiful fruit.
I have never had kids, but I imagine the process we experienced in Cambodia is a similar process. You raise and train rigorously. You share laughs, swell with pride, and cry in heartbreak. You see a large amount of growth. You have a small window in the first 18 years or so of their lives (in our case two months), and then you have to trust that all the training, instruction, care, and love will yield a return. Yield a return for them and those they touch, their children, grandchildren, neighbors, workforce and many more.
Our sustainability community projects are only as successful as our farm managers and workers. They only truly become sustainable sources of food and microfinance once we leave their side and allow them the space to grow on their own. And that is the thing we are most excited about for this project in Cambodia, the farm managers we were able to cultivate. The trust built and relationships facilitated.
The most exciting relationship established while in country is the relationship between the local agriculture university through recent graduate, Pisal, and our now good friend Pastor Hong, who runs several local orphanages in the neighboring city and pastors a significant group of churches in Kampong Cham. Pisal and Pastor Hong, both key players, deliver an unfaltering commitment to excellence and developing their communities. They both show a selflessness and genuine "greater than themselves" care for the purpose of this project: to feed and empower the rescued girls. Pastor Hong already runs several orphanages and churches. His humility and hospitality on par with Mother Theresa and his zeal matching Bonhoeffer, we think all this makes for a sure recipe for success.
We look forward to sharing updates on the Cambodia project over the next year and coming years because they will tell us truly how successful we were with this project.
For more details on the Harvest Craft Cambodia Project or other sustainability projects. Click below.