It isn’t easy operating any business these days, profitable or otherwise. This is also true of a charitable foundation. As many of you know the Butterfly Pea Charitable Foundation is primarily supported by the Butterfly Pea Hotel and its owner John Ganshaw. These last few months have been very challenging for all of us at the foundation.
The year 2020 started off great, many projects were going on with the 8th and 9th grade field trips, planning of a fashion show to benefit the foundation, finishing the primary school, assisting three students with their dream of going to high school, in addition to the current students being sponsored. We had just finished paying the tuition for three teachers to attend University and receive a Bachelors Degree. So much was happening and so much was planned. Then, Covid-19 struck, sending our plans into a whirlwind and what do we do.
Schools have been closed here since the middle of March. Hotels and restaurants have been shuttered as there are no tourists. Today it is the 8th of June and there is no definite date as when the borders will reopen and international flights will resume. Because of the virus and the frenzy that it has caused we have been prevented from visiting Prek Toal, but hopefully that will end soon. In the meantime, we needed to do something as the virus created such hardships on people here. Most people who worked in businesses associated with tourism lost their jobs, restaurant workers, sellers, hotel staff, tuk tuk drivers, tour guides, and the list goes on and on.
With many people being out of work and with little money to sustain themselves, help and assistance was needed. Though it isn’t a lot, Sambath Chorm mentioned that families with children at the children’s hospital here are especially in need. Many of the families come from the countryside and don’t have a lot of money for meals while their child is being treated. For us, this was an opportunity to help. How do we help? Every Wednesday starting on May 06, 2020 we delivered lunches, prepared and packaged at the Butterfly Pea Hotel. This week we are planning on delivering 160 lunches consisting of fried pork and rice. To date we have delivered over 500 lunches and our plan is to continue for the foreseeable future. We can’t thank the volunteers and donors enough, they are truly dedicated and all have hearts of gold.
It is in times like this that we all need to pull together and help each other. What may seem inconsequential to you is a pot of gold to someone else.