Cambodia, Cambodia, Cambodia! We cannot even begin to tell you how deeply in our hearts this country and its people are!
On our recent service trip, we had the opportunity to share with and learn from some of the kindest people in Cambodia. We started by taking a few tours of key historical sites that put into perspective the things that some of the people we would encounter over the following days had been through. A visit to s21 genocide museum helped prepare our group and made them aware of matters about which they would need to be sensitive during their stay.
Over the 5 days that our USANA Family was in Cambodia, they were able to serve hundreds of children from neighboring villages in different ways. After travelling 6 hours to the Wentz Medical Center (yup, you guessed right- it was sponsored by USANA’s very own Dr. Myron Wentz!), our group was re-energized on their arrival when they met the children who were there for their annual checkups.
3 members of the group, who are trained medical professionals back in their countries of residence, were able to join the medical team at the WMC and administer physicals to the children.
“It was easy to fall in love and heartbreaking to leave. The last 6 days was a roller coaster learning journey for me. I came to Cambodia prepared to serve and give love but instead I was loved and served more than I needed to give. Meeting all the shining leaders of USANA that you only see on stage shining with all their achievements was something that I was excited about, but meeting them was not the right word. They became my brothers and sisters in the #USANAFamily. The children we encountered taught us to love in the most unconditional way. My challenges in life are nothing compared to what they are going through every day in their lives. They made me think that the world can be the happiest place if you just give your love and not ask for anything in return. LOVE is everything!”
Diamond Director, Tess Inumerable
I recall spending a brief moment in school studying Cambodia history. I really couldn’t remember the impact it had on their people, but as I spent the day touring the Killing Fields and the prison of S21, I realized this country has only recently been recovering from one of the largest genocides in history. There is still a shame that sits heavy with the parents of this generation, my generation, who did what they felt they had to do to survive. The aftermath has created a significant dysfunction that will still take several more generations to repair.
Even still, family is highly regarded and cherished, unless, of course, you are not a part of one. This is the case for thousands of children in Cambodia that are left without a mother or father to take care of them. Whether it’s a health or financial issue or just young people who are barely old enough to take care of themselves trying to figure out how to raise a child in a world of extreme poverty.
Orphans in Cambodia are treated as less-than-human. They are spoken to like dogs, even going as far as using another language just for them. One that is barbaric.
So, what happens when a team of USANA Associates from 5 different countries show up with one intention, to serve them with all their heart? Overwhelming gratitude.
I was so taken back with how fast these men and women connected with these children who are supported through the donations of our USANA Family. It’s because of them and thousands of others that we are able to feed and support 106 orphan homes serving 25-30 children in each. It brings me to tears describing how valued these children felt because of the sacrifice of busy leaders taking the time to serve in an area they have never been. They treated them like their own children, providing more hugs than they could ever count.
One of the children would barely let my hand go long enough to take a photo. I could tell she was in need of something that food nor water could ever satisfy – love and attention. To be treated like you meant something. That being alive actually mattered.
I leave this country with much sadness knowing that we have not yet reached all of the abandoned children in Cambodia, but more hopeful than ever that we have the power and ability to do so. Our USANA Family is a force of love and kindness that has and will continue to solve world problems. We will reach more children. We will make a huge dent in hunger, malnutrition and in the building up of self-worth of future mothers, fathers and community leaders. This is how you change the world. You love the little ones so that they may grow to give love.
I will never forget my week in Cambodia and I will never rest until every child understands their value.”
Brian Paul, USANA True Health Foundation President
Remember, 100 percent of all donations made to the USANA True Health Foundation ALWAYS go toward changing lives across the world.