It became apparent in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic that the only pathway to conquering this global crisis was via a global solution. No country, government or organisation would be able to combat this omnipotent threat in isolation. More than ever before we needed to put aside any tendencies toward protectionism and self-interest by working together in partnership and for the common good.
It was with this sense of urgency and collaboration in mind that The Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation (SBCF) in Cambodia signed a joint agreement in April with both The HALO Trust and The Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA) with the aim of leveraging skills, resources and funding to provide a swift and effective response to the emerging crisis in the region. With western nations struggling to deal with COVID-19 despite advanced healthcare systems and robust economies, our concerns were growing for countries lacking the infrastructure and economic stability to cope as the pandemic began to take hold.
The co-ordinated campaign was to focus on the delivery of food parcels and hygiene kits to vulnerable communities as well as the dissemination of information to raise awareness of the virus and preventative measures to mitigate risk.
Six weeks since the signing of the joint agreement and the partnership has delivered over 1,394 hygiene and food parcels including;
- 2000 kg of jasmine rice
- 2,160 bars of soap
- 2,500 surgical face masks
- 2,000 cans of crane fish
- 300 litres hand sanitiser
Lou McGrath, CEO, The Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation
The joint initiative has highlighted the complementary skillsets of the two organisations, which we hope to build on through an ongoing collaborative partnership. Whilst The HALO Trust is known predominantly for its outstanding expertise in the clearance of landmines and unexploded remnants of war, we at The Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation focus on supporting victims of conflict through both physical and psychological rehabilitation on a holistic level. Our centre in Pursat province, for example, provides support for the disabled through both physiotherapy and the development of vocational skills to help rebuild livelihoods torn apart by the horrors of conflict.
Rothna Buth, Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation, Country Director, Cambodia