Friday, 3 June 2016

Today I met Scott Neeson!

As President of 20th Century Fox International, Scott oversaw the release and marketing of several of the top films of all time – including ‘Braveheart,’ ‘Titanic,’ ‘Star Wars’ and ‘X-men’. In 2003, he left Fox to head Sony Pictures International marketing operations. In 2004 Scott resigned from his 26-year film career and began the process of his relocation to Cambodia, selling his home, car, boat and other assets.

Now Scott oversees the Cambodian Children’s Fund which lifts hundreds of children out of poverty who are living and working on the Steung Meanchey garbage dump, one of the most toxic environments imaginable.

As Hands Across the World, the Cambodian Children’s Fund believes that with the right education and support, one child has the potential to lift an entire family out of poverty and that a generation of educated children has the power to change a whole society.

At the end of 2015 Hands Across the World was fortunate to receive more than 90 laptops from a renowned mining company in Western Australia. As they renewed their laptop fleet, we received the replaced models which were by no means outdated. These laptops were put to good use in a different environment. In an environment, where life-changing, quality education is supported: Firstly we equipped our new computer lab in the Kimheak/HATW-School and then we were searching for a partner organisation who was equally in need and supports the same vision and mission as we do.

Scott was in Perth at the time to be blessed by the Dalai Lama, who also resided in our beautiful city at the time. So I contacted him (Scott not the Dalai Lama) and we agreed on supporting each other.

With the help of the Christ Church Grammar School students, who planned a trip to visit the CCF in December 2015, we managed to send 30 laptops to be used in the computer lab which is right next to the garbage dump.

Our Hands Across the World laptops are a part of the CCF computer lab where the future leaders of Cambodia presented amazing skills while using them. I mean, 3D graphics, I wouldn’t have a clue! 

As the lovely Cath, Scott's personal assistant, was showing me around my mouth fell open.Sometimes we think, we've seen it all, but nope I hadn't been on a garbage dump where children played, lived, got sick, cried, laughed, ate and worked before. They really live(d) there! 

And right next door, the Cambodian Children's Fund was established to provide these children a better future through the gift of education.

Scott who was sitting cross legged in his armchair, patiently answering my 5 Million questions and chatted away with me about the hurdles and successes of the amazing work we are blessed to do. That man is a star (and I don't mean Hollywood)!"

Cindy Debes, CEO Hands Across the World