Don Bosco Cambodia is an organization without lucrative interest and it is a non governmental organization, working in Cambodia since 1988 first in the refugee camps in Thailand and then in Cambodia since 1991. One of the main aspects of Don Bosco Cambodia is the creation of schools for children and young people. Since 1991, nearly 5 thousand children and youth from poor communities have gotten a brilliant future. Don Bosco Cambodia has technical schools, basic and secondary education and the program of Don Bosco Children Fund to support children and youth in their studies.

But behind all these activities, the benefactors of Don Bosco Cambodia are many. We have benefactors inside and outside Cambodia, good people and organizations that support Don Bosco in the mission to educate and protect the new generations of Cambodians, especially those who find more difficulties due to economical resources.

One of those big benefactors is SAWASDEE FOUNDATION. The Thai word Sawasdee means happiness and they used that name because it was supporting children in Thailand during the 1980s with Fr. John Visser. But they continued using that name when they started supporting Cambodia after 1988 in the refugee camps. Sawasdee Foundation was created by a Dutch couple: Mr. Hector and Mrs. Ellen Loontjens. They gathered many benefactors in the Netherlands and in Europe, those willing to help Cambodian children.

The traditional Cambodian dancers welcoming Hector and Ellen Loontjens in their visit to the country.

Between 23 and 27 of March, Mr. Hector and Mrs. Ellen visited Cambodia. It was the first time after two years of absence due to Covid19’s pandemic. They started with Don Bosco Phnom Penh and many other projects in the Cambodia’s Capital, Don Bosco Sihanoukville where the Don Bosco Hotel is one of the main projects supported by Sawasdee Foundation and Don Bosco Kep where they inaugurated the new dormitory for female students that is sponsored by them with a contribution from Mr. Piet de Visser and Mr. John vander Voor.

With Fr. Samnang, Fr. Roel, Fr. Eugene and Br. Roberto, they traveled from Kep to Siem Reap and then to Battambang and Poipet. On the way, they did a visit to Fr. John Visser, who is one of the three Salesian founders of the presence of Don Bosco in Cambodia and the one that contacted Mr. Hector and Mrs. Ellen Loontjens in Thailand. In Siem Reap they visited the Don Bosco Vary guesthouse. In Battambang they went to see the Don Bosco Andong Cheng, a primary and secondary school and the Don Bosco Salabath that is the agro vocational center. They finished their national visit with the Don Bosco Centre in Poipet.

Thanks to Sawasdee Foundation for their visit to Cambodian projects that support children and youth with Don Bosco. We wish you good health, love and blessings from Cambodia and we thank you in the name of so many people who now have a future thanks to Don Bosco and benefactors like Sawasdee Foundation.

Hector Loontjens with the boys of the program Don Bosco Sun Children.
Mr. Don Sev and Mr. Soktheng Romam, Jarai youth from Ratanakiri, said some works of thanks to Hector and Ellen of Sawasdee Foundation for the support of the organization to Cambodian ethnic minorities.

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