2020: A very turbulent year

As we look back on 2020, it has been a very turbulent year; a year in which the whole world has changed and be turned upside down. Whatever the final outcome of the Corona Virus is, and how long it will continue remains to be seen as, sadly, many places are still in its grip. What we do know, however, is that many thousands, tens of thousands of Cambodians have been thrown back into poverty. It is so distressing to see that many hard-working people with a bright future are struggling again. And now they are at the mercy of government assistance. Many have been left behind with huge debts. No income and with all the consequences that entails.

Here at the Lilly Foundation, we are still trying to do whatever we can to help. The income of Lily foundation comes largely from the kind donations/tips from the guests of our travel agency. From March onwards, unfortunately we have only received cancellations or requests to postpone trips to next year. There have been no fresh bookings for 2020, and unfortunately it doesn’t look good for 2021 either. But we still stay positive. We are, however, very lucky to have a loyal circle of friends who continue to give donations. We have also added a few new donors to the list, which we are of course tremendously grateful for. Thank you very much for trusting us.

We would like to give you a short update on what we have done over the past year.

CWEOK in Kampot

For years we have been supporting this wonderful school on The Pepperhill Plantation. Unfortunately, due to government direction, the school has been closed for a large part of the year. We were able to make sure that the teachers got paid and that we delivered extra food packages once a month to the families of the children who go to school here. We also distributed mosquito nets during the rainy season, in order to help protect from Dengue, Malaria and other mosquito borne diseases.


Kampong Kleang

This beautiful floating village on the outskirts of the largest inland lake in Asia has been hit twice as hard as most places. Since the end of March there have been no more tourists in this village and all boats are chained in the harbour. Sadly, the fishermen are also facing major problems. The rainy season started late and, in the beginning, there was less rainfall than previous years. The fact that more dams were built in the Mekong ensured that the water level remained very low. 80% of the population here is dependent on fishing, and this situation has led to very tough times. This year we gave food packages to the poorest of this village to try to help a little.

Clean up

Unfortunately, litter still remains a major problem in Cambodia. It is made too easy for the population to discard plastic. The reason: when they buy coffee along the roadside, they get it in a plastic cup, with a straw in a plastic bag. It is the goal of the Lily Foundation to try to make as much of the population aware of this as possible. Together with the staff of, Lolei Travel, Travel Asia A la Carte and Cambodian Travel Partner, 3 travel agencies in Chreav village. We organised another cleanup day. More than 50 large bags of rubbish were taken out of nature again.

RSVP school

This organisation has built several schools in remote villages in Cambodia, and this year they launched a food packages program. Every week thousands of families are provided with rice and other basic necessities. Lily Foundation also made a small contribution to help out for a day and we made a financial donation.


Cambobabs in Kampot

About five years ago, a new school was started to help educate the children of Kampot and we have been helping this organisation for quite some time and a number of teachers are paid through the Lily foundation. Unfortunately, due to internal problems, it never got any further than the foundation. This year we have big news to tell. One of our donors has intervened and made sure that all parties have come back to the table and come to a solution. In August, the construction workers were able to get back to work to continue with the construction of the school. The school is now almost finished and the students who were first taught under a house on stilts can go to a real school. Lily foundation is absolutely delighted to see that the school is now complete. It was impossible without the help of our good friends Sebastian and Ursula.

Other Projects

We helped a pregnant woman who had to undergo an emergency Caesarean section to save her and the baby. Unfortunately she had no money to pay for the operation. We also gave ad hoc medicines, food and other goods to the elderly in the villages we visited and saw that there was a need. Donate a water well and water pump in Kampong Kleang.

As we wrote in the introduction is that our travel agency has also been hit hard. We paid our staff 100% for the first few months even though there was no work. Well, no new work, just cancelling bookings. After that we continued to pay half of the salaries and the staff only worked 2 days a week, mostly helping us with jobs in the garden. In August, sadly, with no more work to do, we were left with no choice but to lay off our staff. Luckily everyone found other work, and 1 staff member stayed with us because we can now also rent jeeps to Cambodians. A special thanks goes to Doris, Reinelda, Sebastian and Ursula who helped us to support our staff.

Nobody knows what 2021 will bring. But whatever happens, we will continue to help the less fortunate people in whatever way we can. In 2021 we are going to develop a new idea. Instead of just giving, we are going to help locals who want to start a business, but do not currently have the means to do so. These will be small-scale projects, for example if woman wants to make clothes but has no money to buy a sewing machine. Lily foundation will buy one for her, and if she earns money, she can pay it back without interest. Another example perhaps could be someone wants to start keeping pigs but has no money to buy a pig. We make sure he can buy a pig and that way he can start breeding more pigs. With the proceeds he can pay back the loan slowly, again without interest. With the money we get back we can help other people.

We believe that if everyone makes a contribution. to make a difference. the world will start turning again and we will succeed in this together.

As with every year, our special thanks go out to all our donors, friends and family. They contributed money, products or anything else. Without your invaluable help, the Lily Foundation could not help the people we do.

William, Martijn, Pascal, Kees and Ine, Kees’ sister, Hartwig and Jutta, Sebastian and Ursula, Alfred and Catherine, Klaus and Rita, Ralf and Christiane, Franz and Petra, Klaus and Heike, Klaus and Rita, Matthias and Ingrid, Joachim and Rita, Markus and Marita, Dirk and Shima, Gepco and Jaqueline, Wil, Doris, Reinelda, Richard and Aniele, Ronald, and all our guests from Cambodian Travel Partner and Red Dust Adventures. Traveling with us means you are helping the local community.

We wish everyone a better 2021.

Andre and Lily

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