Rotterdam – Netherlands. Mr Rolf Renzow, the Treasurer of Stichting Scholenproject Cambodja ‘Rotterdam’ (SSCR), a Dutch Foundation that raises funds for the construction of schools and support of orphans and underprivileged young people in Cambodia, received a Medal from the King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands together with 57 SSCR other volunteers. The Medal makes him a Lid van de Orde van Oranje-Nassau – in English “Member of the Royal Club of Oranje-Nassau,” an royal club created in 1892 by Queen Regent Emma of the Netherlands to recognize someone “who deserves appreciation and recognition from society for the special way in which they have carried out their activities,” like it is explained in the official website of the Dutch Chivalry Order.
The Mayor of Rotterdam, Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb, had 58 very personal speeches prepared for every of the honored and each one received a large basket with flowers, a pen and a notebook together with the Medal and the Certificate.
The SSCR supports projects in Cambodia that are related to the care and protection of vulnerable children and youth, mainly throughout the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia (DBFC). On August 2011 the DBFC’s founder, Fr John Visser of Dutch nationality, received also the Medal of Oranje-Nassau as an Officer of the Order from Queen Beatriz of the Netherlands.
“The delegation council of Cambodia, and all members of the DBFC are all happy and are rejoicing upon knowing that you have received an award and are now a member of the Royal Club of Oranje-Nassau. This is an achievement that was a fruit of your engagement in a lot of philanthropic works in your deep desire to help and assist the poor, especially our poor children and youth in Cambodia, We congratulate you and we also thank you for your continual support in our mission. We are happy and proud that our works and mission here have been part of your achievement,” said Fr Roel Soto, DBFC’s Country Representative.
Mr Rolf Renzow answered some questions to DBFC’s Media Department from Rotterdam:
1. Explain a little what is the Orde van Oranje-Nassau and what this Medal means for SSCR.
Mr Rolf Renzow: It is a yearly tradition that the King of the Netherlands decorates during his birthday, people who have made a difference to the world. Non-military people are honored by becoming members of the so called “Orde van Oranje-Nassau”. Oranje- Nassau is the name for the King’s family clan.
The decoration is given to me personally for all my volunteer work I have done for decades for people and animals who needed my help, advice and support. One of these volunteer works of mine is being the fundraiser and treasurer of SSCR for the last 19 years. For SSCR it is also a recognition of the work SSCR does especially in Cambodia. Hopefully the decoration will help me in the future to be able to raise even more funds for the SSCR.
2. Tell us a little about SSCR, especially in its projects around the world and in Europe.
Mr Rolf Renzow: SSCR is the abbreviation for -translated into English: Foundation School Projects Cambodia “Rotterdam”. Aim of our foundation is to help the needy youth to build their own future for a meaningful life. The basis for this are good education in mind and spirit and so we support in Cambodia the Don Bosco Foundation and the NGO “Spean” (the bridge) and occasionally also needy youth in other countries.
3. Could you give us a list of all projects supported by SSCR in Cambodia?
Mr Rolf Renzow: SSCR has until now financed the building of 43 village schools with each 6 classrooms, furniture, blackboards, two toilets, a playground and library. Next to that SSCR financed the repair of 16 village schools and one village road. Also SSCR financed the building of a polyclinic and the two huge Don Bosco Vithalaya schools in Andaung Chenh, Battambang where SSCR also financed the electricity, toilets, bicycle sheds and this year will extend the playground.
At Don Bosco in Kep SSCR financed the audio studio and photo equipment, solar for the water pomp and renovation of the school. At Don Bosco in Phnom Penh SSCR financed the automotive building , the kitchen and the sports field. Furthermore SSCR financed in Sihanoukville the renovation of the Guesthouse and the new building of a Girls Home and the Home Care house with the crèche. For the Don Bosco Technical Schools SSCR financed the reprint of 23 technical instruction books in Khmer.
SSCR also financed the making of 10.000 school uniforms and distribution of 500 bicycles to children who live far away from school. SSCR could also arrange that Sawasdee Foundation could ship in total more than 70 containers with goods free of charge with Kuehne + Nagel to Don Bosco.
In 2017 SSCR will finance the extension of the solar installation for the Don Bosco Hotel School in Sihanoukville and will ship 12.000 new pair of spectacles to the Caritas Eye Hospital in Takeo where SSCR delivered last year already 286 used glasses. Through the Don Bosco Children Fund of Cambodia SSCR supports since 1995 yearly between 120 and 200 children and students in their education and on the job training.
Finally SSCR helped Don Bosco in Haiti after the storm and financed the heart operation of a needy boy in the Philippines and arranged the donation of 18 tons with baby milk powder to the refugee camp in Northern Iraq.
4. Why Cambodia?
Mr Rolf Renzow: SSCR was founded by Mr. Philipsen who was married to a Cambodian lady and both decided to start helping the needy people of the country.
5. Why Don Bosco?
Mr Rolf Renzow: Fr. John is very well known in the Netherlands for his good work in Cambodia and therefore SSCR choose to support his work with Don Bosco as a very trustworthy humanitarian organisation which especially takes care for the needy youth.
6. Future vision of SSCR with Cambodia and Don Bosco?
Mr Rolf Renzow: SSCR will try to finance together with the co-finance organisation Wild Geese more school- and youth related projects in Cambodia. SSCR plans to finance the installation of solar for all Cambodian Don Bosco stations and will consider all other projects for the needy youth from the Don Bosco Foundation and the NGO Spean.