Friends Without a Border held its 16th anniversary celebration in New Jersey recently, with many Cambodian-Americans from the region in attendance.
The international non-profit aims to improve the health and welfare of children in Siem Reap, Cambodia, through the Angkor Hospital for Children.
Kenro Izu, founder and honorary president of FWB, and also a renowned photographer, told VOA Khmer that the organization has been very successful through fundraising events in Japan, the US and Canada.
“Everyone is trying to help each other make this a success and continue,” he said.
About 200 people attended the Oct. 10 event, where they enjoyed dinner and Khmer dancing. In the joyful atmosphere, which lasted about four hours, there were both silent and live auctions on Khmer souvenirs, as well as on Izu’s photographs. Money collected from the event went to support the hospital.
Children are the “backbone of society,” Izu said, and they should live healthy lives and dream big. “Wealthy or poor, they should be treated equally and fairly, and keeping good lives so that they have a chance to get educated and become future doctors or future prime minister,” he said.
Dara Kim, who attended the anniversary party, said he supported the hospital to help children in Cambodia. He has supported Friends Without a Border since 2000, he said, volunteering for events, or donating money. “Anyone of us here who are able, we contribute a little bit of our money or whatever, even volunteering,” he said. “I think that we should give as much as possible to the unfortunate children in Cambodia.”
The Angkor Hospital for Children has more than 500 staff, who provide free treatment to children, 1.4 million of them so far. Izu said it would continue to do so with support from people. “It makes you feel rich in your heart, and it makes me rich in my heart,” he said.