Ballinasloe man fundraises to improve lives in Cambodia

Edward Conway from Ballinasloe has become an advocate for the construction of wells to help poor families in Cambodia.

A family man of three, Mr Conway wished to see the seventh wonder of the world, the "Angkor Wat" in Cambodia after his retirement.

During his time there, he saw the terrible conditions native Cambodian families survived in and, in bonding with his tour guide, Kim, longed to help those in dire need.

"I was so much taken by each country and in particular to the plight of the Cambodians after year of hardship with killings and starvation. The whole country disintegrated and even to this day outside the main cites there is still widespread poor water supply and also dirty water," Mr Conway said of his visit.

Kim was a Cambodian man who witnessed first hand the destruction of many lives personally and while touring around the country.

"When I was young, I could not go to school because of fighting. My first day at school I was 10 years old. Between five to 10 years old I just took care of the buffaloes and cows. I used to drink dirty water with cows and buffaloes also. So I want to help the poor people with these clean water wells."

After graduating from Phnom Penh university and working as an accountant, Kim found his true calling as a tour guide.

"I love this job as I meet many people from around the world, exchanged knowledge and cultures. After a period of exchange of information some of my clients asked me how they could help the Cambodian people."

Civil wars and violence have sent waves of destruction through Cambodia leaving many families and people very poor and living in difficult conditions. Because of this, Kim has set in place a project to build wells in villages and towns so that everyone there would have access to clean water.

"With this water, people could use it for watering their vegetable patch in their garden too. Since 2005, as a tour guide I have received many funds for building the water wells," Kim said.

Kim's project costs €220 for one well to be installed, including 10 years maintenance. This provides water to the poorest location and gives people a greater chance of survival and health.

Since Mr Conway's trip to Cambodia he has been fundraising for Mr Kim's well project and is asking all those who wish to support to contact him by letter or telephone: Edward Conway, 12 Kilgarve Court, Creagh, Ballinasloe, Galway. Call (086 ) 8972776 or contact Kim in Cambodia direct for more information at [email protected].

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