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It’s the 9th of January 2017. 9 days into the New Year and I’m sat at the back of an old green jeep, hurtling towards Kandal province in Cambodia. Its 30 degrees and I feel uncomfortable, but that does not compare to the excitement building up as I edge closer to meet the first Rainbow Family sponsored child on my visit.
We arrive in front of a huge mosque with cream walls and a green dome. As we walk past the right side, I can see from afar a young girl named Tiny and her mother standing tall, beaming with huge smiles on their faces. As I arrive at their home, the sheer scale of their situation hits me. They both live in a corrugated Iron house, long and wide enough for just two people to sleep in.
Tiny is an orphan, but her smile and excitement overshadows it all. The impact of Muslim Aid’s child sponsorship programme on her life has been monumental. She proudly explains that she was the first of five siblings to make it to Secondary School; her four brothers were forced to drop out many years ago due to financial issues. Life is easier now. Her brothers are older and also support with whatever they can. The future is bright! After an hour-long chat, Tiny’s mother informs me that just some months ago Tiny came 2nd in a provincial Qiraat competition!
That week I met with more sponsored children across the country; all as inspiring as Tiny. Reflecting on my time in Cambodia, I heard and saw hundreds of children in need of support and hundreds of futures to invest in.