News Release

Day of Service by LDS Volunteers Assists Completion of First Women's Cancer Hospital in Cambodia

Over 300 eager Young Single Adults, ages 18-30, representing congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout Phnom Penh, arrived early on a November morning, flooding the grounds at the construction site of the nearly completed Nokor-Tep Woman’s Cancer HospitalThey came to happily volunteer a day of selfless service in a desire to contribute to such an important cause. 


Each volunteer, clad in yellow vests, a universal symbol of “helping hands service” by the LDS Church throughout the world, came to donate their time and effort, as a labor of love, for the future benefit of women in this country.  Each came with a desire to participate, understanding this will be the first of its kind, state of the art, cancer facility for women in Cambodia. Further, that when completed, and fully operable, will provide diagnosis, treatment, options and care for suffering women who fight this insidious disease; with the sober realization cancer could strike their own mother, or sister, or daughter, grandmother or even themselves and lifesaving services and options currently unavailable would become a beacon of hope to those in need.  


Before beginning their work, the group gathered around former Vice-Governor of Phnom Penh, Sieng Thai Trac, one of the co-founders of the projects, as he warmly welcome the participants and offered his gratitude for their willingness to serve this noble project. Everything was organized to provide different tasks including: painting, scraping, sanding and general construction cleanup. The large group was divided into teams that were assigned to work in different locations around the hospital and the services were supervised by construction managers. Once the tasks began, a contagious enthusiasm spread through these young volunteers as they performed diligently and energetically. 

And following her attendance and completing her formal duties at ceremonies celebrating Cambodia's Independence Day, another co-founder and Minister of Women's Affairs, Her Excellency Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, arrived and spoke to the group. Her Excellency Phavi, emotionally expressed her personal gratitude and appreciation for the work and generosity displayed from these wonderful young people. Among her remarks, she said, "When people volunteer their time, they bring hope to a community that things will get better."


Also arriving at the hospital site to express her thanks was Janne Ristkes, also a co-founder of Nokor-Tep and Director of Tabitha, who walked among the volunteers smiling, chatting and offering words of encouragement.

Following the completion of many of the tasks outlined, the buses were again loaded and returned to the Steung Mean Chapel. It was a memorable day for all concerned and epitomized the Savior's teachings, "When you are in the service of your fellowmen, you are only in the service of your God." Each young adult participant expressed being completely gratified for the opportunity to contribute on this day, for this purpose, and in this capacity. 

A soft opening of the Noker-Tep Women's Hospital is tentatively scheduled for the spring 2018. 

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