After visiting Cambodia and getting to know its people, we decided to give something back to the place. I did some research and found one particular village with high infant mortality rate; the deaths, mostly caused by diarrhea and dehydration, were associated with poor access to clean water, and that’s how our journey began.
We have been providing clean water to rural communities, and last year, we launched a new system of clean water delivery to schools. We have installed a bicycle-driven pump system in school playgrounds. A child gets on a stationary bicycle and draws the water from the well by pedaling. The water passes through a Hyflux filtration system, and into a container that the children can take into the classrooms. We’ve also integrated hygiene into the system by providing a basin, soap and dental kit, so that the children can wash their hands and brush his teeth.
We have installed these clean water systems, which can pump 500 liters of clean water per hour, to over 190 schools in Kampong Chhnang.
It is important for us to concentrate on impact and sustainability, and one way to create sustainability is to get local health workers to train their peers. We run training programs with Singapore’s KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital on this. It is important because if we can get local midwives and local pediatric nurses trained, they become trainers themselves; KK Hospital can work from the background maintaining the standards, while letting the trained local health workers pass on their knowledge to others.
We now have about 20 local midwives-trainers and 15 pediatric nurse-trainers who ensure the sustainability of the program.
Over the next four to five years, we plan to cover the entire Kampong Chhnang, population over 500,000, with clean water systems. With the help of our partners, including some charity foundations in Singapore, we’re very confident that we will be able to do that.