Wheels for HOPE- Changing the World One Bicycle at a Time
Sok Navy – cured of TB Patient
37-year-old Sok Navy is a single mother of a 1-year-old toddler. She is one of many tuberculosis-infected Cambodians who has successfully recovered from this illness. Treatment services are only available in hospitals and many did not seek care because they could not afford the cost of travel and accommodation for the many months of treatment required. Her bicycle brings her to medical appointments and the transport costs she saves helps offset her living expenses and enables her to buy infant milk formula. In March 2014, she completed her treatment and cured from TB.
Kerr Hen – Grandma supporting 4 grandchildren
Grandma Kerr Hen uses her Wheels for Hope sponsored bike to sell fruits. She has to feed her four grandchildren who lost their mother to AIDS in 2012. The bicycle has been with her everyday for the last 4 years!
Meng Nath – living with HIV
Pt Meng Nath is a 48-year-old widow with 3 children. She lives in Trapeang Anchan relocation site in Trapeang Kasang district, Cambodia. Her poor health condition requires regular treatment in the hospital.
She spends 2 hours cycling on the WFH bike to the HIV Chuk Sa clinic, 20 km away. She informed us that before she had a bicycle, she used to walk to the hospital. Besides her regular visits to the hospital, she cycles to work as well. She makes USD$80 a month, washing dishes in a small restaurant. She said; "If I take public transport to work, my income is not enough to cover the cost". I am so grateful to WFH and the sponsors in Singapore for this bicycle".
When our local partners first met her, she was in dire needs. She had no money for medical treatment, was too ill to work, and had to “give” her kids to other family members as she couldn’t take care of them. After supporting her food, shelter and medical treatment for a few months, she was cured. But she still had to work really hard, waking up at 3 am every day to wash clothes, and do pickups and deliveries in the afternoon. WFH gave her a bike to do her deliveries, and we also bought her a washing machine to ease her workload and grow her business. Now her business doing well. She used to make $2.50 per day, and now makes $25 per day.
She’s no longer living hand-to-mouth and can start planning for her future.
Sophal – Single Mother
Sophal, a single mother of two children who received a bicycle from us in January 2017. She was so grateful for a gift she received from Wheels for HOPE. She uses the bicycle everyday to sell cakes to support her herself and her two kids . She also mentioned that her son, who was living in the countryside with relatives, can now move in to stay with her in Phnom Penh. She is really happy to be united with her son, and provide him with education, which was not available in rural areas.
Men Savy - TB Patient
Men Savy (40) has 4 children, 1 of whom passed away some time ago. When she contracted TB a few years back, it spread to 1 of her 3 remaining children. The infection spread to the little boy’s brain, causing meningitis, and frequent seizures. He now lives in an orphanage where he can get regular treatment.
A year ago, her husband went to Thailand to look for work. After sending money back for 2 months, he stopped all contact. Unable to take care of her 2 remaining kids, she sent 1 to stay with her mother in the province, keeping only the youngest with her. She has just received a Wheels For Hope bicycle in Dec 2017, so that she can do her deliveries more efficiently. Her dream, once she’s able to make a better income, is to bring all her kids back to stay with her.
Yeon Chenda & Pharath – Mother & Son
Yeon Chenda (49) is a widow with a 15-year-old boy named Pharath. Due to severe TB, her weight dropped from 60kg to 25kg. Forced by such dire circumstances, Pharath dropped out of school for 3 years to care for his mum and collect recyclable items in the streets to sell.
A bicycle was given to Pharath in 2015, which he used to collect recyclable material to sell. With the family’s financial burden eased, he now rides to school, though he still collects the odd bottle or can whenever he happens to see them on the way to school. He is currently 3 years behind other students his age, but recently got 5th in class in his exams.
While Soun Kosal’s eyes are recovering and Pharath is now excelling in school, Yeon Chenda’s fight with TB continues.
Meang Navy - mother of 4 children
Neang Navy is married, with 4 children. Her husband has severe TB and is unable to work. Struggling to provide for her kids, she was forced to place 2 of her children with her childless sister and a 9-year-old girl in an orphanage. She keeps her youngest, a 6-month-old baby with her, but staying together in a dilapidated small house and receiving poor nutrition, the TB was passed on to their baby too.
Neang Navy is trapped in a hopeless dilemma, frequently having to stop work in order to care for her husband and baby, but unable to provide for them if she doesn’t work. While riding the first bicycle that Wheels For Hope gave her, she got into an accident that left her injured, and her bike destroyed.
She has received another bicycle in 2017, to enable her to go to work and rush home to take care of her family. She makes USD 100 a month, working from 6am - 6pm.
Sok Ny – Mother of 2
Sok Ny 44 years old has two daughters, aged 11 and 7 years old. She has to stop working as a construction worker because of several chronic illnesses. Today, she and her 11-year-old cycles from the suburb to the city bike for their regular ARV medication. With regular hospital visits, she can be on the road to TB recovery.
Heang Chanthy - Homeless
Abandoned by his family, 35-year old Heang Chanthy seeks shelter nightly at a temple. To earn some income for food, he collects recyclables in the streets. On a typical day, he earns USD$1.25 only. He shared, “It is difficult, but if I do not receive treatment, it would mean that I am giving up on my life.”
Grateful to receive the bicycle from us, he thanked us profusely. Click here [13:00 point] to hear his sharing.
Mao Srey Pich – Widow with 3 children
Mao Srey Pich is a 27 years old widow with 3 children. Today Chhavelith and the Home Care team visited her village and followed up with her. With the sponsored bicycle, she is now able to make a small living selling vegetables which she picked from the fields and pond.
In Lorry - TB free
In Lorry, is a 37 years old widow with 3 kids. She has been struggling with HIV and TB for several years now. The TB drug resistance worsened over time because of irregular treatment she received previously. Like many Cambodians, she can't afford the regular transport and medication for TB. Early this year, she received a bicycle from Wheels for HOPE and she was able to ride regularly to SHCH for treatment. In the process, she saves US$5 per trip. With the consistent medication and treatment she received from the Home Care Team, she is officially free from TB.
Ly Pros – Beggar with 6 kids
The brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge was the darkest period in the history of Cambodia. Under the rule of the communists for a short 5 years in the mid to late 1970s, up to 2 million died through tortures, executions, starvation, and diseases. After the Khmer Rouge was toppled, the civil war continued in rural areas for many more years. Ly Pros, 50, was a soldier fighting against the Khmer Rouge when he stepped on a landmine and lost a leg. Ly Pros is now a beggar, totally reliant on the sympathy of people at the market he begs at every day. He receives an average of US$7 per day, struggling to support his wife and 8 children. After many years of brave determination, 2 of his children have finished school and gotten married. He still supports the remaining children who are still in school. Ly Pros is very grateful to have received 3 bicycles from Wheels For Hope for his children. His 6 children who go to school during different sessions share the bicycles so that they can greatly shorten their commuting time.
Sorn Seon- Student
15-year-old Sorn Seon (Grade 9) home is 2.5 km away from the school. He used to walk almost an hour and would arrive late to school. With the bicycle, the travel time becomes 10-20 minutes. He can now use his bicycle to bring his younger sister (10 years old) and brother (6 years old) to school. So the bicycle now benefits 3 kids. He also can cycle to the market to buy food.
With a happy grin, we shook hands and he cycled off into the dusty sunset. Sorn was a happy teen that day.
Oun Sopheak & Sophanna
In January 2015, one beneficiary was Sophanna Virakboth, 13. He expressed his gratitude in English as his mother, Oun Sopheak, 37, looked on proudly. Sophanna has 3 younger siblings: a 12 and 5-year old brother and a 2-year old sister. Oun is living with HIV and her two youngest children are HIV positive.
Looking at him with pride, she said, "My boy is very smart, he remembers everything he learns. But I can't afford to send him to English classes. And definitely not a bicycle."
In June 2015, Oun visited the Home Care team and shared how grateful she was for the bicycle which saves her transport fees. She now has more time to earn money to support her family, as her husband is living with Tuberculosis and too ill to work. She does sewing at home, takes care of her ill husband and cooks.