Dragon boat racing has long traditions in Cambodia with people from all over the country celebrating the Cambodian Water Festival (Bon Om Tuk) and watching the boat races in Siem Reap, in the provinces and, not least, along Sisowath Quay in Phnom Penh which attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year.
The Cambodian Water Festival lasts for (at least) three days, and commemorates the end of the rainy season as well as the reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River. The English rainy season is rather constant and we’d be surprised if The Thames suddenly should change it’s flow and run upstream from the Thames Estuary, but we’ll brave the English weather and put some serious muscle behind our fundraising efforts in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival at Bewl Water in Kent on Sunday 14 September 2014.
It’s January 2006, two backpackers who met working at one of London’s finest hotels, are on the road again after experiencing the poverty on the streets of Phnom Penh, the harrowing stories of Toul Sleng and the haunting recollections of the Killing Fields. The bus driver, who sits behind a broken windscreen, drives recklessly along the long winding Route 6 bumping pot hole after pot hole to Siem Reap.
Knowing a little help can make a big difference, but conscious that the wrong delivery can have negative results, Jo and her fellow trustee, Tanya, put their heads together and set up Harnessing Opportunities through Play and Education (HOPE) as a registered charity in England & Wales with the aim to raise awareness and funds to support existing programmes in Cambodia assisting young people with their education and social development.