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 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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