SHCH: Celebrating 20 Years of Healing

  • By Hope Worldwide
  • 20 Dec, 2016
Twenty years ago they were outcasts rejected by their own families. Their bodies were wasting away, ravished by AIDS. They were the untouchables, modern day lepers. Out on the street. In the dust and ashes.
But on November 7th, these same people were greeting the King and Queen of Cambodia at the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE’s (SHCH) 20th anniversary celebration. Touching their hands. Hands that wouldn’t have been touched by a commoner fifteen years ago were clasped in a respectful embrace by the King himself!

His Majesty the King Norodom Sihamoni and Her Majesty the Queen Mother greeted staff and patients at the SHCH 20th anniversary celebration.

A Scripture Fulfilled
"He raises the poor from the dust   and lifts the needy from the ash heap; H e seats them with princes,   with the princes of His people."   -Psalm 113:7-8

Chuun Bophal and the other members of the HIV Support Group were not sure why the royal family   paused to talk to them. But they did. And so, surrounded by ambassadors and other VIPs, the members   of SHCH’s HIV Support Group (all patients themselves) discussed their life and work with His Majesty the King and Her   Majesty the Queen Mother of Cambodia. Bophal and his friends had never dared to dream of   this moment. It was magical. It’s not every day a poor Cambodian, especially one diagnosed with AIDS,   meets a king.

It seemed to be just such a moment for the royal family as well. The King gave a touching and personal   speech and, along with the Queen Mother, personally presented gifts to every patient in the hospital. They lingered to talk to each   one. It appeared that the King and Queen would cherish this memory forever as well. To all present, it was a day when Psalm 113 truly came to life.
It Began With a Dream
Every once in a while a story appears that touches the heart, stimulates the mind and inspires the soul.   Some are fiction. Others are true. And the ones that are true - they are truly inspirational. The story of   the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE is one such story. This free hospital for the poor in Phnom   Penh, Cambodia is now completing its 20th   year of service and continues to flourish and amaze many.

The SHCH was   founded in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge’s genocidal regime during which   Cambodia’s health care infrastructure was systematically dismantled and almost two million people,   particularly those of the educated and professional classes, lost their lives. It is estimated that only 50   physicians survived this regime.

In 1996, when the healthcare system was almost nonexistant, there were organizations and individuals   with a dream to make a difference for the people of the nation. These visionaries included Bernard   Krishner (Chairman, Japan Relief for Cambodia), Toshu Fukami (President, World Mate) and Robert and   Pat Gempel (CEO and Executive Vice President, HOPE worldwide ) . Thanks   to the financial sacrifices and service of many humanitarian organizations, churches and   individuals, the SHCH became a reality. Many experts dismissed the notion that a free hospital could   sustain itself. However, the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE, under the management of HOPE   worldwide , has not only survived but also achieved national recognition as a “Center of Excellence” in medical   care, training and research.
Forty SHCH staff members were presented with certificates for 20 years of service and four doctors (front row) graduated from the Internal Medicine Program.
A Nation Changed  
These are a just a few of the notable accomplishments of the SHCH:
  • Over 1.3 million patients have received medical care completely free of charge!
  • Over 5,000 medical professionals have received some or all of their training at the Sihanouk Hospital   Center of HOPE.
  • Over 150 articles and abstracts have been published in international journals and conferences.
  • SHCH has been an NGO leader in the care of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, women’s health and many   other specialties.
  • SHCH has inspired HOPE worldwide  to lead other healthcare projects in Cambodia including the   Sonya Kill Memorial Hospital in Kampot and the HOPE worldwide  Medical Centers. Together   these programs employ over 620 Cambodians and serve over 600 patients every day.
Perhaps its greatest achievement is what the hospital is best known for - love, compassion and unity   around its mission to serve the poor. We live in a world where differences divide. Different races and   different religions are at the root of much conflict between people. HOPE   worldwide  is a NGO based on Christian faith that desires to show the love of God to all, especially   the poor. So at the Sihanouk Hospital, all faiths find a home. Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and people of other faiths all work   together with the same desire to serve the poor. Each team member demonstrates compassion and   love. And their commitment and unity shines as a beacon of hope in Cambodia and around the world.
By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 18 Aug, 2017

I had been studying the Bible for a few months before going on HYC. Over that time, I had been growing in my faith, at things like teen camp, midweeks, and teen devotionals. I had wanted to do HOPE Youth Corps, but didn’t think this summer was the right time. My parents encouraged me to work it out and I’m so glad I did.

There were a lot of things that helped me grow in my walk with God during HOPE Youth Corps. We had devotionals almost every night which were all very helpful for preparing us for what we were doing that day or in the days to come. The fellowship between all of the participants was amazing. I met so many people from all across the country, and a few from Canada and England. I was able to make so many deep friendships with my new family. Because we spent so much time together we truly did become like a family.

While we were on HYC we did a few different service projects. We did some clean up on the streets of North Philadelphia with ODAAT (One Day At A Time). We also did work around Camp Hope For Kids wherever it was needed. But one of the most important things we did during Youth Corps was mentor at risk inner city kids with Camp Miracles. They spend three days with us at camp. We went swimming, went to the waterfront, played gaga ball, basketball, and volleyball. One of the days we even went to the zoo. We tried to give the kids the best week of their lives by showing them how much God loves them, by us loving them wholeheartedly.

All these things helped me grow in my relationship with God and my faith in him. When I got back from HYC I had some great time with the guys that I had been studying the bible with. I was encouraged by how strong my faith had grown, and wanted to respond to all that Jesus had done for me. I got baptized on August 6th! I am so thankful for my time at HYC!

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 18 Aug, 2017

My name is Louis Le Noan, and as a Global Service Intern, I led the HOPE Youth Corps in Haiti this July. The night we arrived at the orphanage in Les Cayes, where we would be staying for two weeks, the children greeted us with hugs and kisses, even though we had never met them before. They also had a song prepared to welcome us! We quickly understood that they were going to teach us a lot.

We went there to help rebuild disciples’ homes, to paint the orphanage building, to start a garden, to clean the beach, and connect with the kids. In the end, we also learned a lot from these children: how to love simply, how to share, how to be excited about friendships and new faces and how to appreciate and live as a family.

 We understood more deeply what Jesus talked about in Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’".

I believe that this is what HYC is all about: making an impact and serving a community but doing it together, as a family, and putting our trust and faith in God to see what he can do around us and in our personal lives.

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 17 Aug, 2017

“Sometimes service is simply holding out your hand and showing others Jesus’ love…” 

While serving on HYC Jakarta I saw a lot of hurt and pain. I am originally from Indonesia, and seeing the lives of those around me – hearing the same language and stories! I learned that only God can heal the hurt and pain that I saw. In my pride I thought that it was up to me or that I had to go and fix things. But I learned that what I can do is to give love so that others can see God. It is not me changing the lives of others, but God working through me.

Something that also touched my heart is that we served at the same orphanage that my parents helped to start. I remember visiting it when I was a kid and how I donated the swing set that I had before leaving for the United States. When I returned almost 15 years later, I saw that the same swing set was being used! All it needed was a paint job but it still stood strong. The participants repainted the same swing set that I had received as a gift on my birthday while living in Jakarta.

Something that I also hold close to my heart is something that my mom taught me growing up. My mom had helped to serve with HWW Indonesia and had visited many of the slums in Jakarta. Growing up she taught me to never be afraid to touch the poor and hold their hand. I didn’t understand this truly until we served in one of the slums in Jakarta, where all the children just wanted someone to love them, hug them close and hold their hand. Sometimes service is simply holding out your hand to hold and showing others Jesus’ love.

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 17 Aug, 2017

As I write this article, our family is en route back home to Canada from Budapest, and another successful HYC. Our 22-year-old son, Cameron Taylor, was one of the Global Service Interns who helped organize and lead this this HYC, and our 19-year-old daughter, Jillian Taylor attended as one of the HOPEww volunteers. We head back to our homes in Halifax, Canada, once again deeply impacted by the service and the love lived out on these amazing service trips.

This fall, our son will begin his medical school studies, and as I recently reviewed his essay that he submitted with his application, I am both grateful to God for opening this wonderful door of opportunity for our son, and humbled by the role that HOPE worldwide , its leadership and its service opportunities has played in shaping our son’s worldview and convictions to imitate Jesus by loving the poor. In short, Cameron’s essay had “HOPE worldwide ” written all over it. Let me share with you a bit of our son’s journey with selected excerpts from his medical school application essay…

A few hours after Cameron’s birth, I firmly believe that God played a role in our son’s life through the delivering doctor who acted on a hunch, and located a significant problem with one of our son’s main organs. We were transported from Toronto East General Hospital to Sick Kids Hospital where he eventually spent about half of his first year. Our son had major kidney problems and if this wasn’t taken care of, at best he would live a severely limited life, and at worse, we could eventually lose him. Those weeks and long nights spent walking the halls of Sick Kids, holding our son and caring for him as best as we were able, were a roller coaster of emotions and some of the deepest times my wife and I have ever spent in prayer. Our family eventually moved to Halifax, and after more treatments and surgery, we are so thankful that our son is living a healthy and very normal life.

Cameron’s essay excerpt: “One of my earliest memories is of an operating room. I was four years old at the time, and I can still picture the mask covered faces, silhouetted by the overhead lighting, as the anesthesia induced darkness crept in from the edges of my vision. A core belief of mine is that to those who are given much, ( Luke 12:48 “to whom much was given, of him much will be required” ESV), much will be expected. I have been given much by way of experiences that have shaped my desire to become a physician, a career which would allow me to do the much that I believe is expected of me.”

By Shane Engel 17 Jul, 2017

The team at Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital recently celebrated its 5 year anniversary. SKMH opened in April 2012 with the mission to meet the needs of poor children and women of Southern Cambodia. It is managed by HOPE worldwide . Since its opening, nearly 50,000 patients have been touched by the team. On May 26, the hospital honored 31 employees who have served since the hospital’s opening day. Through the dedication of its staff and supporters, SKMH has seen tremendous growth.   Since its opening, the hospital has accomplished the following:

·      More than 140,000 patient consultations with nearly 50,000 new patients

·      71% of visits have been for women and children

·      Nearly 800 children have been born at the hospital since the opening of the Maternity building in November 2014

·      7 Cambodian doctors have graduated from three year hospital training program.

·      Currently employs over 180 people

·      The Neo Natal Intensive care unit opened November 2015. To date the NICU has served 49 children

·      Centralized Medical Gas System for NICU and campus opened in November 2016.

·      Surgical department opened in 2015

·      Surgical team has performed over 360 surgeries in 2016, not including C-Sections. 86 surgeries have been for children

·      Blood bank opened in August 2016

·      A Learning Center for children of hospital staff opened on June 12

Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital has been blessed with international support from medical and administrative partners as well as volunteers from around the world to serve and teach. The local Cambodian staff continues to grow and serves as the primary patient care providers.

The team is grateful for all the support that has been given this past five years; however, there remains more to do. Future development includes the addition of a CT scan, upgraded X-ray diagnostic equipment, continued development of staff training programming and pursuit of international accreditations. Please consider how you can make a difference at the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital. Go to . Use the drop down box and select Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital. If you wish to learn more about the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital, please visit .

By Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope 22 Jun, 2017
Dr. Phavarine Menh, a member of the Phnom Penh Church of Christ and a HOPE worldwide physician in Cambodia since 1998, recently inspired an international audience at the Cleveland Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio as she became the first international recipient of the “Empathy Amplified” award for compassion and empathy in medical care.

The occasion was the 8th annual conference entitled “Patient Experience: Empathy and Innovation” and was hosted by the renowned Cleveland Clinic (ranked the #2 Hospital in the United States by U.S. News and World Report). The “Empathy Amplified” award goes to only one recipient each year and “Dr. Rin,” as she is affectionately known, became the first ever international awardee.

Overcoming the Odds
Growing up during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, Dr. Rin like so many of her colleagues lost immediate family members and suffered a traumatic childhood with a severe disruption in her education. Despite major obstacles, in 1992 she completed her medical education in Russia and joined the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE staff in 1998. She is well known for her humility, compassion and love for the poor. Her nomination was a surprise, and unknown to her until she received the congratulatory letter from the Cleveland Clinic.

In nominating her, Maricel Manoza, a member of the SHCH finance staff, whose father suffered a stroke and was treated by Dr. Rin, noted her ability to “ understand our fears and motivations and make us feel safe. She restored our hope to a place we thought would never exist ”.

Dr. Rin stated, “It is my privilege to treat sick people, to help them have a better life and restore them to their beloved families.” She praised the culture of “kindness, compassion, integrity and respect” that has long been the hallmark of the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE and praised her colleagues whom she felt were equally deserving of the award. She concluded by saying, “Every day I get to go home from work knowing that I made a difference, that I was able to help change a life, change a family, change a nation…one at a time.”

Dr. Rin Receiving the Empathy Amplified Award

Click here to watch .

A Timely Challenge
She received a standing ovation by over 2,000 attendees as she walked off the stage. Her message is a timely one for all those who heal the sick. In her gentle way, without even knowing it, Dr. Rin laid down a challenge for us all: to rise above our obstacles and make this world a better place through empathy and compassionate service.

To help support the compassionate work of Dr. Rin and many others serving alongside her in Phnom Penh, make a gift today, change a life tomorrow.  
By Hope Worldwide 11 Apr, 2017
Susan Correa, a fashion entrepreneur in New York City has launched a clothing line and committed a portion of the proceeds from every garment sold to support HOPE ww  Children’s Nutritional Optimization Program in Central America. At HOPE  worldwide , our volunteers, donors and business partners are as unique and diverse as the families we serve. We are blessed to have passionate people engaging in many powerful ways. Susan Correa, fashion entrepreneur, philanthropist and member of the New York City Church of Christ, is shaking up the children's fashion industry with a sustainable business model and a compassionate bottom line.

In 2014, in an effort to make a better business model, Susan launched “Empower”, a school lunch program for undernourished children in India. For every purchase from her cooper & ella clothing line, Susan committed to provide a hot, nutritious meal. What started as a simple act of compassion ended up as a contribution of 186,000 meals for children attending a school operated by HOPE  foundation  India. Like most successful entrepreneurs, this was only the first step in her passionate mission to do business better.

In January 2017, Susan launched her new fashion line, art & eden. This new children's clothing line is the result of a two-year process for Susan as she followed her dream to create clothing that is better for the planet, better for the people who make them and better for the people who wear them. This time, a portion of every garment sold will benefit HOPE ww’s  Children’s Nutritional Optimization Program in Central America.

As a part of the HOPE  worldwide  Community Service Brigades, the Nutritional Optimization Program will help children with health challenges feel better, focus better and develop better during their most formative years. Susan’s business has committed to donate 7,000 doses of albendazole to cure 3,500 kids from stomach parasites and 1 million multivitamins to help kids rebuild and maintain health. Improved nutrition gives each child the opportunity to reach their full potential height experience healthy physical brain development and fully mature in their emotional and mental health.

We are so proud to have business partners like Susan as we work together to serve those in need. The fashion industry is taking note of this inspiring social enterprise. Susan’s line and our partnership have been featured on the cover of Smallish Magazine as well as covered by Redbook Magazine, fashion blogs and other industry publications ( ). 

PARTNER WITH US! To learn more, please email
By Hope Worldwide 10 Apr, 2017
By Hope Worldwide 10 Apr, 2017

Jenny Harkabus spent Christmas serving in the Philippines. She wrote this, and also made a short video:

I did not imagine that I would be spending Christmas in the Philippines for my first HOPE Youth Corps experience. This opportunity has deeply changed my perspective on the importance of service in my daily walk.

We are created in God's image, therefore we are meant to help and serve others. I know this to be true because I have never felt so used by God and fulfilled, than the times spent serving and pouring out my love in the Philippines.

James 1:27 says, " Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Some translations refer to this as true religion. The bible also stresses the importance of giving to the poor (1 John 3:17, Matt 9:21, Proverbs 14:31). God considers caring for the poor and orphans as true religion, yet this can be an area of faith that is overlooked.

I was privileged to spend time with girls who have experienced trauma and abuse at the HOPE worldwide center in Laguna. Many of these girls have been separated from their families, becoming orphans, as a result of the abuse they have experienced. I also received the opportunity to play with children within the community as we rebuilt their homes and provided them with medical care. I witnessed the children’s precious value for human relationships, as they clung to me emotionally and physically. They showed me instant love and respect, which I find to be rare in today’s society. Our focus should be about investing in others just as the children in the Philippines invested in me.

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