Saturday, November 27, 2010

Donors' generosity into the hands of the Koh Pich patients

With 6,743,700 Riel and 1264 dollars collected from all the generous donors, the team of 22/11 Foundation has been working to find the best way through which these donations can go directly to Koh Pich patients.

Regarding the patients at the Kalmet Hospital as having received more attention from various donors, 22/11 Foundation has reserved priorities for the Koh Pich patients in Preah Kosamak, Preah Ketmealea, and Russia Hospital. All the donations contributed into this foundation are to be distributed among the patients in these hospitals based on the level of severity of injury and on the accessibility of patients for the team. Each patient being carefully treated in Emergency Room receives 30 US dollars from our funds, while patients with less serious conditions get 30,000 riels each. This amount is to be given out among 5 patients in Preach Ketmealea Hospital, 158 (8 with serious conditions) in Preah Kosamak Hospital, and 66 (7 in critical conditions) in Russia Hospital. 600 US dollars was also set aside to help relieve 3 families with members deceased from the incident - 300 US dollars to the family with 5 children of both dead parents, 200 US dollars to the family having lost 2 children, and 100 US dollars to the family with one dead member.

A small part of the accumulated donations has also been used to buy some tokens for staff at the hospitals, as proof to our appreciation for their hard work in helping the patients.

Nov 27, 2010

5 days after the tragedy of the deadly stampede incident, the volunteers of the 22/11 Foundation went to distribute a part of 6,743,700 Riel + 1264 dollars in donations to Koh Pich patients staying at Russia Hospital, leaving the remaining money for the patients at Kosamak Hospital, at Preah Ketmealea Hospital and possibly at Kalmet Hospital.

Our work at Russia Hospital went pretty well and was pleasantly welcomed by some of the doctors, although a few did put on their worst face towards us. The team was greatly energized, and our grief and sorrow amazingly bettered, with each enveloped handed onto their hands of each patients, or of their family, since they all accepted with joy and appreciation expressed in their smiles and words of gratitude. 

Donated money: 6,743,700 Riel + 1264 dollars

22/11 Foundation Team: When the money is ready to be distributed

Russia Hospital

A small token to acknowledge the hard work of staff at the Russia Hospital

Donations to 3 families of the deceased

Meeting with and handing the donation to patients in ICU Room

Meeting with and handing the donation to patients in ICU Room

Donations to other Koh Pich patients in the hospital

Donations to other Koh Pich patients in the hospital
counting donations collected on Nov 25

offering donations to the patients at Russia Hospital - Nov 27

The rest of the donations is being distributed to patients at the remaining hospitals. The distribution starts at 10 am (Nov 28) at Preah Kosamak Hospital, so do join us if you can. Please call us at 855 17 58 11 48.

Friday, November 26, 2010

List of donors to 22/11 Foundation as of November 27, 2010

Dear all,

The volunteers of 22/11 Foundation are gathering this afternoon to distribute donations to patients at Kosamak, Ketmealea, and Russian Hospitals. Please feel free to join us.

Meeting time: at 2:00 p m
Meeting point: In front of PUC South Campus (Norodom Blvd)
See you there!

012 288 388

Press Release: 25th Nov. 2010- “22 /11 Commemoration”

As tribute to the 347 people who died during the unexpected panic on the night of 22 November 2010, the youth group of 22/11 Foundation gathered on 25th November 2010 at 4: 00pm at Phnom Penh Center to parade to the tragic site, to reflect about the unnecessary death, to recite a poem and to pay respect and condolences to the stampede victims.
H.E Ouk Kimseng, representative of Information Minister, was giving a remark during the commemoration about this sad event on behalf H.E Khieu Kanharith.
Turning the happy Water Festival day to the second historical record of tragedy, this panic happened on the night of 22/ 11 2010, which was the last day of the Water Festival. Thousands of people were in the stampede on the bridge of Koh Pich leaving 347 died and 395 injured.
Facing this overwhelmingly heartbreaking incident, the 22/11 Foundation, which was formed by the multi-university students and other youths from different institutions of Cambodia, gathered to pay commemoration to the deceased. Besides this, we are also doing an ad hoc fundraising to help as many victims as possible.
Donations collected from all universities in Phnom Penh and the public will be transferred directly to the stampede victims staying in the hospitals throughout Phnom Penh on 27th November 2010.
In order to keep the money transparent, our group will be updating the list of contributors and amount of money we have and doing all reports about our activities and how we share the donation to those suffered via our facebook page called “22/11 commemoration” and the blog:

Be notified that our group is recognized by the Ministry of Information and remarked
by H.E Khieu Kanharith on 24th November 2010 on the name of youth activities for society.

*Poem: is a newly written piece of work by Lecturer Sor Soth from the Institute of Foreign Language, to reflect great sorrow for the 22/11 incident.

Contact Number:  017 58 11 48 / 012 288 388

An article from Australian Media about stampede tragedy

Reflecting on Cambodia's national day of mourning Emma Leslie, executive director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, writes:<>

 The Water Festival is a time of great celebration in Cambodia. It is always celebrated around November but the dates are dependent on the moon. Some say it's a chance to honour the rivers that replenish the soil for the harvest. Others say it's to honour the spirits that make the river miraculous change direction and flow in the other direction. Mostly it's the time where the people from Cambodia's countryside take over the capital. Phnom Penh is theirs. They sleep along the streets, they cheer on the boat of their district, they stay up all night and enjoy myriad free entertainment from fireworks to concerts and traditional dancing. It's a grand celebration of life.

The development of a new island in the river, accessed through such a beautiful bridge decorated with a Naga snake, was this year such a focal point for the celebration. So many went to Diamond Island over the holiday period for the trade show, the fun park, the free concerts, the displays and because so many other people were there to see. Such a focal point of joy and happiness, among Cambodia's rural poor.

And therein lies the tragedy. Those that died on the bridge on November 22 were hardly Cambodia's wealthy. They were yet again the poorest of the poor. Garment factory workers, usually young women out for a good time. Sisters from a tiny village disobeying their mother and running to the capitol to join the fun. They were slum dwellers from a nearby slum soon to be demolished. They were moto-dop drivers, garbage collectors, market sellers, rice farmers. And now 395 such people lay dead in the height of the celebrations.

No doubt there will much discussion and debate by NGOs and human rights groups in weeks to come. How the government could have protected them. How safety standards are not enforced. But this is not the day for such recriminations. Today a Prime Minister weeps openly with his people, and the streets are silent. Outside every home, along every street, there are the traditional offerings, candles and incense for those who have passed. TV channels read the names of those who have died, replay the footage of that fateful night and update the death toll hour to hour.

It is hard to watch the images without comparing them to so many of the images long associated with Cambodia. It is not a publicity stunt that so many of those interviewed by the media, including Hun Sen's address to the nation, refer back to the Khmer Rouge years. Not since then has there been such a tragedy in our history, they say. One woman wept, I lost everyone to the Khmer Rouge, and now I lost my son in this stampede. Who will take care of me now?

Over the past decade the international community has tried hard to persuade Cambodia that an international tribunal was necessary to heal Cambodia's past, to reconcile the nation, to bring closure. To date the tribunal has seemed an alien legal process, far the from reality of everyday lives and certainly not a mechanism for healing deep seated pains and loss.

But the events of the past few days have felt very different. In every restaurant, in every market, along the street -- people go about their business slowly and silently. People watch TV screens in breakfast shops and cry openly. On Wednesday I watched a military truck slowly make its way down the Monivong, the main road through Phnom Penh, filled with coffins. As it past shops and houses, guards, pedestrians, passersby, all stood, almost to attention, to pay respect and honour those nameless corpses going by.

I drove past the hospital and found people giving out water to the many people camped out there trying to find their family members. A huge billboard displayed the unidentified people still indie the hospital, and people clamber over each other to see if they can find their own.

While this has been a deep and great tragedy for Cambodia, something else is going on here. This country has become united in its grief. People are coming together to put right, something which was very wrong. They are standing together to mourn their country people, fully aware that those who died were the least among them, and now deserve the highest honour for their tragic end. And of course all of us looking on wonder how they can bear more suffering, more grief and more pain.

The late Maha Ghosananda, Cambodia's peace monk often chanted;

The suffering of Cambodia has been deep.
From this suffering comes great Compassion.
Great Compassion makes a Peaceful Heart.
A peaceful Heart makes a Peaceful Person.
A Peaceful Person makes a Peaceful Community.
A Peaceful Community makes a Peaceful Nation.
And a Peaceful Nation makes a Peaceful World.
May all beings live in Happiness and Peace.

Perhaps Maha understood that it is the yoke Cambodians must bear on behalf of us all. People who come to Cambodia often comment of the smiles of the children, the happiness of the people. They marvel at the sense of fun, and joy in simple pleasures. They speak of the open-hearted way Cambodians welcome them, embrace them and befriend them. Perhaps this is what Maha speaks of -- the joy that is born of suffering. Perhaps Cambodia suffers so much so that compassion can be.

For the past 48 hours Cambodian television channels have received donations from around the country for the victims' families and the injured survivors. No amount is too small to announce on the television recognising the contributions of even the poorest people. From this suffering comes great compassion.

One boy told of a man who saw him trapped under the feet of the people on the bridge. He bent down and lift the boy up and put him on his shoulders so he was above the crowd. Later the boy realised he was riding on the shoulders of a dead man. From this suffering comes great compassion.

What we learn through the events of the past few days is that sense of national identity and reconciled togetherness cannot come from outside. It comes from the shared suffering, losses, histories and processes that people experience for themselves. In many South-East Asian nations those shared histories are days of liberation, celebrating anti colonial struggles and the pride of self determination. Cambodia has no just day of celebration or national unity. Cambodia's unity seems always to come through her suffering. Piles of shoes belonging to the deceased -- in the Khmer Rouge years and again today. The mass graves of the Killing Fields, parallel to lines of bodies along the river bank of the past two days.

Today is Cambodia's national day of mourning. Today, one after another Cambodians are laying flowers and burning incense at the fateful bridge. This is their time, where they stand together as a nation and grieve. This is not just grief for those who died in this incident. This is truly a national day of mourning for all the suffering they have endured. This is the time they rally and unite to put right something that went very wrong. This is their moment of national unity. This is the suffering they bear, from which compassion is born. As a Prime Minister weeps with his people, Maha's words echo over this timeless land;

"Our journey for peace begins today and every day.
Each step is a prayer, each step is a meditation, each step will build a bridge."

Ironic, yet true. Cambodians will wipe their tears, and continue to build their nation, heal their hearts and show great compassion. Not just to each other, but to the world.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our profound thanks goes to all that have donated to this cause

The following enlists the names of those who donated their resources in our foundation. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to them. 

Our foundation is still now accepting donations until 5:30 pm of November 26. So If you are still interested in contributing anything you can, please call us at 855 12 288 388

The team of the 22/11 Foundation is now getting in touch with the relevant hospitals in order to find the best possible way through which all the donations we have collectedly can find their way straight into the hands of the patients, as well as the family of the deceased, of the deadly stampede.

Please keep checking out our blog and Fackbook page frequently to be informed about our ongoing activities.