Chem MERCY Orphanage Update – February 28th

Denise and I send you warm greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia!  February has been extremely busy. 

We had a very productive and enjoyable breakfast with Kip (the Chairman of the Board of MERCY) and Elena during the World Sector Leadership Retreat in California at the end of February, discussing ongoing plans for the MERCY Orphanage in Cambodia

We are very encouraged by MERCY’s partnership with the Cambodia Social Welfare Mission Orphanage (CSW), which MERCY sponsors.  Denise and I lead the daily operations at the orphanage and are there on a regular basis.

Our shared vision is to improve the lives of the children who live at the orphanage, helping them grow to become responsible adults.  Our goal is to eventually expand the number of children that live in the orphanage from the current number of 53 children to 100. 

We have established Three Foundational Pillars Of Growth for the children: Character, Education and Health.  In addition, we have launched a “Clean and Green” Campaign to beautiful the orphanage grounds and help the children develop a cleanly and orderly mindset.   

Basic Life Skills Training General Education Requirements Medical and Dental Care
Clean and Green Campaign Foreign Language Proficiency Diet, Nutrition and Exercise
Confident, Courageous, Considerate Computer Training Teaching and Training on Basic Hygiene


One of the projects to this end has been the construction of a new boy’s bathroom. We are very grateful to Dennis Wong, Chairman of the Sharon Wong Foundation, for the generous donation to initiate the construction of this much needed building for the 30 boys at the orphanage.  Excitingly, the completion date is March 7! 

Current condition of the existing bathrooms in the boys’ dormitory.

Nick and Heng, the “big brother” at the orphanage, inspect the progress at the construction site of the new bathroom, which is over two times the size of the current bathroom

Denise employed here interior design skills and experience to select fun colors to accent one wall of each of the different rooms in the bathroom

Bright and airy, the new bathroom has five showers and 9 shower/toilet combinations (which are common in Cambodia), along with 3 large sinks (on the right) with 4 faucets each.


In addition, we will begin regular medical and dental examinations and teaching and training on health and hygiene. 

Srey Nich, 16 years old, was so embarrassed to lose her decaying front tooth.  Denise contacted a dental school here in Phnom Penh, which gladly helped Srey Nich replace her front tooth and fill her 12 cavities at a very favorable cost.  We will begin dental exams for all of the children over the next few months. 

Srey Nich flashes a big smile, thankful for her new tooth!

Our dear sister Naomi, a dental hygienist, divided the children in small groups and taught and trained all the children about dental hygiene.

The roommate of our daughters at University of Oregon raised over $4000 to create and send 60 dental packets (toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and her organization’s T-shirts – Save Our Smiles) to the orphanage.  The kids were so excited to receive their personal packets!!

Much love to all of you,

Nick and Denise and the kids at the CSW-MERCY Orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia!!

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