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Introductie Chris Merritt, New Future for Children

Sinds 2011 ondersteunt de Stichting Waterdragers een aantal kinderen van NFC bij hun scholing. Directeur Chris Merritt stelt zich kort aan u voor:

Why I Left the USA and Volunteered at New Future for Children in Cambodia
-Chris Merritt, May 2011

I have always loved traveling, adventure and helping people. In the USA I have been to each of the 50 states and climbed the highest mountain in North America, Denali. I started my education by earning a degree in Psychology after having volunteered at local and university counseling centers. As a chairman of a foreign missions committee I visited a family volunteering in Kenya, who we had donated surveying equipment to, working in rural water development. This probably put the seed in my mind about volunteering in another country.

I started visiting countries in Southeast Asia with my first trip to Thailand in 1983. After yearly month long trips to SE Asia over the years, I finally I took a year long trip around the world in 2006 visiting 20-countries in 12 months. In the middle of the trip, while I was in Bangkok, I received a phone call that my mother had cancer. I returned to the USA to care for her. Sadly she died several weeks later.

I continued the world trip visiting an orphanage in Cambodia. At the orphanage I thought the children were incredible! They didn’t have much but were happy and formed a large family that really cared about each other. I thought that this was a place where I could make a difference with the knowledge and skills I had learned over the years.

All of my core family members had passed away and I had become an adult “orphan”. I understood how important families are, whether they are your family of origin, ones you create or ones you choose to join. I no longer had obligations to immediate family members back in the USA and decided to move to Cambodia to volunteer for a minimum of 2 years. I gave away or sold everything that I owned except for two small cardboard boxes of items and moved to Phnom Penh in May 2007. I have been been here for 4 years so far and have no regrets.

I understand why the Peace Corps has the slogan, “the toughest job you’ll ever love”, because that has been my experience here. The challenges and frustrations are enormous, but the children are worth it. I am dedicated to helping these children towards a new future.

-Chris Merritt
Advisor to Director
New Future for Children
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

chris merritt