When a door opens, do we walk in or do we remain outside? Do we see it as an opportunity or just more work which we should reject due to our limited resources? OHF received request from the deputy prison director in Prey Veng to help the inmates with some skills training. Upon visiting the prison, we agreed to set up a computer centre where the inmates can learn English using the computer and other softwares. Likewise three principals of schools approached us to provide safe drinking water for their students. We already have such systems in our children's home and training centre using UV sterilisers. In the case of Hope Village Prey Veng, we have been using the system for over 10 years. We have decided to provide the schools with the UV treatment system as thousands of students could have better health as water borne disease is prevalent in the rural areas.
The question arises as to whether we wait to raise the funds before starting the project or do the project and pray that we can raise the funds? We have decided to proceed first using our reserves and raise the funds later. Would donors object to this? Would they prefer that we wait until the donation is raised before starting the project? Or would they not mind to donate to a project that was completed using OHF’s reserves? I hope they would opt for the latter as reserves are important and should be replenished as soon as possible.
Running a charity is super tough! You have very limited resources in terms of manpower, money and technology and yet you have so much that needs to be done for the poor and needy. Let us take the treated water supply for schools. The technology and expertise we need are:
- How to drill a well, use a well drilling rig, repair and maintain the rig
- How to determine the output capacity of the UV sterilisers in terms of gallons per minute
- Know what filter to install (5 microns)
- Understand the piping technology (E.g. Union connector, bulkhead connector, etc)
- Calculate the tank size which depends on the number of students in the school
- Design an iron cage to hold the water tank and ensure it will not topple over
- Build a concrete base for the tank to sit on
- Design a 20-taps distribution system
For OHF we are building houses, wells, toilets as well as run a training centre, volunteer programmes and a children's home! But we thrive on challenges and the joy of being able to help the less fortunate. In Singapore, many do not drink the tap water even though it is treated. Yet in Cambodia, many villagers drink untreated well water with nary a thought if it is safe to do so! We are indeed so blessed in Singapore.
OHF Founder & Chairman