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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
NOTLers’ virtual walk to Cambodia raises money for Tabitha Foundation

Now in the final fundraising stretch, group needs help to reach goal

Yolanda Henry
Special to The Lake Report

During this extreme time of COVID-19, six Niagara-on-the-Lake residents are helping to make a difference for the poorest of the poor in Cambodia – by making their workouts count.

Carol Clarke, Michele Darling, Chris Walker, Donna Lailey, and Mike and Yolanda Henry are part of an effort to raise $150,000 for the Tabitha Foundation, which works to improve the lives of people in Cambodia.

It has been a difficult year for everyone and Cambodia is no exception.

It’s not so much the COVID pandemic that threatens the lives of so many Cambodians, rather it’s the economic repercussions.

Families are unable to repay microfinance loans because of the loss of jobs and income.

The current debt load per person is $3,800 U.S., which is a staggering amount for the majority of people, who earn less than $200 U.S. per month.

Children are being sold or land and homes are sold or seized. Lives lived precariously are once again being destroyed.

Staff from the Tabitha Foundation are on the ground working with over 6,000 of the poorest families to try to establish new sources of income by growing vegetables, raising animals or starting small businesses.

Through “My Virtual Mission,”  the team from NOTL has walked over 5,100 kilometres.

The goal is to help the team virtually reach Cambodia from Canada and raise a good deal of money for the Tabitha Foundation by Dec. 31 through a donation to join and support from friends, family and sponsors.

In total, since the inception of the challenge in August, Tabitha’s Team Canada has travelled 12,143 kilometres and has just 1,551 kilometres to go.

Team Canada has a total of 26 participants and donations are also coming from other foundations in the United States, U.K. and Australia. Even the Tabitha staff in Cambodia are participating by walking.

And the participants, $2,347 short of the $150,000 global target, are hoping the giving spirit of NOTLers can help push the team over the top.

The donations will help Tabitha continue to raise families out of poverty by providing wells for clean water, helping build houses and schools, and supporting women through cottage industry income and access to health care.

Donations can be made through Tabitha.ca/donate-now.

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