Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bitter Sweet Memories : Matengai Pi Dong, Madong Matruop

translation: ambil 2 kali sehari, 2 biji setiap kali.hehe..that's Khmer language. the longest
sentence ive learnt during my 2 weeks stay in Cambodia. sorry if the meaning lari sket or the spelling isnt right.

Throughout the relief mission, there wasn't any moment tht i regret my decision to join the team. the new things ive learnt, the people i got to know there..everything is precious n priceless! i'll write more on the mission once i receive the pics frm the boss. but wht i wanna share now is about this one cambodian fren we know.

seeing him, i would never have imagined he's the person tht needs to go against his family will for his idea to change the lives of his village hence pursuing medicine in USS in Phnom Penh and now in his 5th yr.(or is it 6th?cudnt remember)..btw medical course in Cambodia is 8 yrs.He came from a rural village in one of the provinces in Cambodia where the main source of living is fishing.

For the people around him, helping their parents to earn a living was considered to be more "useful" than studying. Most of the kids settled only til elementary. So when no one in the village likes to study, when the school is 20 km away, when parents and grandparents oppose, and when living is hard, he, Ghazali (or Rosaly) Yakop determined. (or in Khmer, Kop Roly). Even when he had to cycle 20 km to high skool, and also helped his father go fishing in the weekend, he never waver from his idea of the importance of education. He was then awarded a scholarship by the gov and became the first from his village to further in university. Hesitantly, he chose to become a doctor over a teacher.

The scholarship however only covered the tuition fee. Poor kampung boy needed to survive on his own feet in Phnom Penh city with estimated expenses of approximately 150$ p/month for food, books, accomd etc. His parents could only support around $50/60 p/month. And the rest was on him.

So he did part time jobs. One at a local restaurant and the other one was distributing newspapers. Uni during the day, and work from 5 til night. (can we possibly manage tht?) He also once worked with nurses in the hospital at night. he was so exhausted tht his lecturer once asked him why he often dozes off in class. (we also doze off in class but with a different reason kn?) Once in a while, the thought of giving up came across his mind. But then he keeps reminding himself tht if he give it all up and go home now, he would still be the same guy who have nothing and the villagers would jst blame him for being stubborn n not following the common. And so he preserve res.Then Alhamdulillah he got another scholarship from IDB (Islamic dev. bank) tht lessen a bit the burden off his shoulder.

In 2nd yr, he got to know IMAC, Islamic Medical Assoc. Cambodia. They do mobile clinics in rural areas almost every week! (IMAC is another story..later ye). Even with the scholarships he got, getting original new medical books is still beyond his reach. He only uses photostated books. In uni library, they have a very limited number of reference books. They can only read the books there in the library. Using only black and white photocopied books, whenever he needs diagrams or figures to refer (remember in medicine we really need pictures?!), he would go to the library, look at it there and read about the details at home. (Yes, let's count how MANY untouched/used reference books we have on our shelf).

Now he still do part time job since he needs more books and stuffs as he progresses. The smart n brilliant Roly now works as a tutor at a private college teaching biology. So every night, he needs to prepare for his lesson as well as his study. Being the stubborn n the rebellious one in his family, he decided not to go against his family in this one matter: marriage. He accepts with an open heart his match-make arranged by his mother and now engaged.He has no time to think tht medicine is hard, coz to be able to study n live itself are hard enough for him.-the end-So now, are we in the position the complain n whine?? Ya Allah, place us among those who're grateful to You...ameen

by Afiqah Farhana

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bitter Sweet Memories : Cambodia - A humbling experience

Assalamualaikum :)I'm typing here again. My blog is private and dying, yet here I am writing in the all too public facebook notes section. I don't do sensible.Cambodia...where do I start? I nearly cancelled my trip there because I feel like I'm needed more in Malaysia. Kelantan, to be exact.

Because KIBAR was going on and they didn't have enough people to help out. At the same time, a lot of people bailed out from the mission, and there were only ten people left. I couldn't win - If I go, I left my friends in Kelantan all the workload of KIBAR. If I don't go, I'll impose more work to the CRM team, because when there's only ten people...losing one manpower is a lot.At last I chose Cambodia with hesitation, and I decided to make sure that I make the best of it, so that I didn't miss KIBAR for nothing.

I was pleasantly surprised during the first day of the mission, realizing how far the first village was, because I felt that these must be people who really needed us to be there, and people who would really appreciate the free mobile clinic and circumcision. When we got closer to the said village, I find myself perplexed with what I saw outside the glass window of the white Mercedez van - people there actually still use carts pulled by cows and horses. Like, ACTUALLY using it for their daily living, and not just for tourist transporation or some shiz. It was as if we were riding a time machine.Villagers were already gathered at the mosque when we got there, and we disembarked the van feeling rather nauseous - especially the circumcision team. I was on the mobile clinic team that day, so I wasn't as nervous and vomity as the other team was - haha

sukahati cakap korang feel vomity. Is vomity even a real word?I was in charge of the dispensary, and my, my, wasn't it challenging. I wasn't familiar with the drugs just yet at the time, and we didn't pack much of the drugs beforehand. It wasn't long before it got wayyy too hectic and hot. It was really, really, really, hot...especially since I was sitting upon direct sunlight and the villagers were surrounding the dispensary section - we didn't have much structure on that first day. I think our patient count on that day must have reached at least 350 - it doesn't help that I was dispensing prescribed drugs among the screams and cries of the boys being circumcized.

A note to my friends on the west, if you're reading this - we only circumcized young boys, and we used local anaesthesia, steriled surgical instruments, gloves and masks. The procedure was all surgically legit, and nothing was barbaric about it. No insane mythical stones or shiz like that were used.As days of the mission went by, we managed to create a better system for the dispensary, got a lot more familiar with the meds, and most unbelievably - learned how to carry out circumcision, and actually did it.

Not just hold-the-catgut-for-the-doctor do it, but suture-the-friggin'-penis do it. I wasn't up for it at first, because I am a world-renowned wuss. But at one point, I became the only one who haven't done it on my own, and I felt like a I did it.I can now add 'Circumcized Cambodian boys' in my List of Things to Tell My Grandchildren.I couldn't believe how much the money we managed to raise in Ireland and UK made a difference to their lives.

These are children who cry because there wasn't enough copies of colouring papers for them, children who are delighted to join the colouring contest despite them getting only one colour pencil each because we weren't prepared for such a huge crowd, families who live in houses the size of a chicken coop - if you were there during the charity drive, if you bought the second-hand clothes we know, darlings, that your money went to a place that needs it so, so much.There are so much more to tell, about how a Cambodian guy became the first person in his village to get into University at his own willpower and effort, about people living in boats on Tonle Sap lake, about the child beggars in Kampung Cham. About the friends we made in Cambodia.

But they're all so impossible to convey in a mere note, so hard to spell out in my limited vocabulary. The 13 days made all of us in team CRM09 realize how lucky we are to be born in Malaysia, how we shouldn't take all the things Allah had given us for granted. It made us appreciate everything we have so much more, and it made us realize of our renponsibility to share, to give to those in need.There will be a Cambodia Relief Mission 2010 next year insyaAllah...go for it, friends. It's an experience that's worth every second of your summer.

by Atiqah
Bandar Bukit Raja,

Bitter Sweet Memories : From Cambodia With Love Episode 1

Since most of the team members are from Cork, so we have the advantage of doing something big in Cork to raise fund for we started with brainstroming session and task division...a few events that were planned were carried out very well, while some others did not..
I was 'inspired' to do a charity dinner and auction from a Korean drama that i was watching at that i thought why not we try to do one here, in Cork...i thought the road is gonna be smooth and easy like in the drama, sure the drama is all a organise the event alone, really it takes everything out of me...u know, i'm the kind of guy who doesnt have much experience in event management i thought it was tough..

The first problem we encounter was to find the suitable place for the was the exam season, so most of the good places were used for the first i thought of giving up but i've considered to use community hall in Cork but still we dont have luck in it..then we have to settled to just a room able to accomodate up to 70 people..i thought how the hell am i gonna make a charity dinner with performances, and to sell donated cloths and product there..but thanks to Allah, He made it easy for us...

the dinner was a hustle..i mean it is a small event yet so many things to do..we have to cook the meal, have to organize the performances and mcm2 lg laa..thanks a lot to Fahmi, volunteering himself to be the Chief Chef..hehehehe..and to the band who were willing to practice and perform..the big thanks to their manages Mr Pendi aaa..wahahaha.and to Shidi's Cute children for their fun performance.....the charity auction went verry well...Corkians were verry supportive..they bid and bid and fight tooth and nail to win the auctioned products...i like i like..verrryyy much..hihihi..almost all of the products up for auction were taken..the girls we fighting to get the trackmil..Adi and kak Saadah were fighting to get the and the dentistry students were fighting over a rug..and it was very keep on wanting to raise ur bid to win without realizing the price already rocketting...most of the price tripple or quadraple from the starting bidding price..i like i like..the event gave us a lot..estimated around Euro 600...

Mereka sgt comeyyy

Most of the products up for auction were donated by Corkians..thanks to Fahmi again, we managed to get a lot of cool things from him...we also collected clothes and books for our next Jumbo Sale..we used Rumah Chimes to put all the stuffs, to cook and all...Sorry and thankss to 'Chimers' allowing us to mess up with your house...hihi..

Besides, we also collected a lot of donated stuff from Corkians but mostly clothes..they were a lot enuff to occupy every inch of shazif's room...then we have to sort them out and we sold them..first at Cork Mosque Family day..we gained a lot from that day oso...
Forgot to mention that we collected money after friday prayer in Cork Mosque and we managed to collect more than Euro 700...they were so generous... i like i like...

forgot to mention also..we borrowed Shuk's car for i dont know how many times..and its for free yerr..sian Bazli yg terpaksa menebalkan muka meminjam kereta Shuk's..tengss Bali..lap u...wahahaha....tengs Shuk juga sbb bagi pinjam keter..

But the most stressing part is definitely the Dublin Tour and Jumbo was a pain from the beginning..i was handling things with anis mai to get her arranged stuffs regarding Dublin trip there..pity her..she has to call again and again just to book and again and cancel..hihi..i dont know why i insisted on this Dublin Tour despite other's negative comments about it..i don't know what happenned in Cork at that time but all car rent services ran out of car..can you believe it...??ALL...we didn't get a car while everything already planned and arranged..mmg stress gilerr..and finally we have to postponed it to another week...we tried to borrow from Corkians having car of their own but came to no success...i was already down to my knee trying to figure out how to solve that..cause all in my mind were, i have to do this Trip whatever it is..Fortunately the next week we managed to get a a car and then we were off to Dublin...things in Dublin didn't do so well either..Halal shops tour were not really a success...we only manage to get Euro 100 or so...The Jumbo sale in Dublin Mosque also were very poor..and i was hoping to get a lot of money form after jumaat collection..but we failed to do even in 1 Mosque..Clonskeagh Mosque were out of the list..RCSI doesnt allowed non-student to enter, Dublin Mosque were raising fund for we get back to Cork with just about Euro 250..not much and didn't worth the effort at all...but i still think positive...this is Allah's plan..i think this big failure really got a toll on me..yer laa..aku dah bersemangat waja dan tergediks2 nak jugak wat Dublin Tour nih kan..and then it was a failure..of kos i'm sad..walopun kener marah ngan shazif supaya tidak bersedih, but i just cant let it off...but still ALLah knows best...i'll learn a lot from failure..

that were some of the experiences of our fundraising effort in taught me a to cope with failure, how to be grateful with to overcome weak point surely people around me..i easily affected with people's negative attitude and critics..the people around me will definitely bring me down..most of my time, i was thinking about the people working with me..thinking of how to let my anger out to them..thinking of how to motivate them, thinking of how to persuade them, thinking of how to force them, and of kos thinking how to maki-maki them sometimes...not sometimes..most of the timess..i fell like nak maki jer sumer org yg get in my way..yg suka wat annoying act malas bekerja, negative attitude..tetapi Alahamdulillah tahap kesabaran saya masih tinggi..saya bersabar jer laa ngan karenah mereka..i was trying really hard not to let them affect me so that time i told myself..if i dont change, some day i will definitely being brought down by people's negative attitude..people will affect me to my failure..i'm not so much affected with circumstances like we dont get car, we were unlucky, and all...but i got affected in a very big way by people..i will be motivated if people are, and i will feel down if people are..i need people around me with the correct attitude so they will push me up not bring me down...

it was the most stressful experience so far, but i'm liking every moment of it and by miles my favourite experience..hihihi...walopun sgt penat tp sgt berpuas hati...

i would like to thank My driver and best supporter and worker, Incik Bazli..hahaa..My very hardwoking and sleepless Bos, Incik Shazipan, My hand and feet in Dublin, Cik Anis Mai, My budak kecik yg berani marah saya tetapi sanggup berjaga mlm letak tag harga kt baju, Cik Tengku Atique, My Gossip girl yg suka berhibur dan selalu menghiburkan saya, Cik Wany, My Cik Diana yg struggle pergi print macam2 kt UCC sbb aku malas nk gi UCC..hihihi..thank you verry much...u guys make a verry good team...

by Redhuans

Bitter Sweet Memories : A Pot of Guilt and Regret

A boy in a cooking pot, center of picture.

Little boats like the one in the corner of the picture are the common transport of the poor along Tonle Sap.A pot of guilt and regret.We stumbled upon many beggars in Cambodia. Every time we eat lunch at a stall, there will be little children poking us, asking for money. After we finish our food, these children will swarm the table to eat our leftovers.

Allah...the first time this happened we were..speechless. Our toothpicks, our tissue papers were floating in our bowls. They simply removed them...and ate their hearts out.Traumatized, we always offered fresh meals for the children beggars the next times we eat (a bowl of noodles isn't so pricey in Cambodia).

However, this boy was different.We were on a boat along the Tonle Sap lake. As usual, "" can be heard all around. As we were to take off, this boy came rowing as fast as he can, crying for money. Crying. This, never happened. We gave him a little sum of money and we take off.And he cried even harder, screaming for more. I was puzzled. But we already took off.

"Could it be that his mother is so sick, he needs money desperately?""When was the last time he ate?"....why is he in a pot, shouldnt he be in a boat like every other poor beggars around?I dont know anything about the boy but I knew he was desperate.

And truly.....I could have given him more. I really.really could.But there isnt a second chance, I dont think.

Still, I just cannot forget


by Anis Fozi

Bitter Sweet Memories : This is a story about Roly

I know of a friend, Roly is his name. I'm sure everyone on the trip will remember him for life =). He is a fifth year medical student in USS, Cambodia. He's from a muslim village in Kampots(i'm not sure of the spelling) Province, where most men work as fishermen.In his village, education commonly goes as far as primary school. And then, they are expected to share the responsibility to feed the family. Fishing is known to be hard work with not much gain in return.But the child Roly wanted to study more. He had a different idea of how life should be. How education can help improve things. His parents werent happy. His grandparents disapproved. The people in the village shared his family's views too : Education is not important. Working for money to feed the family is.

This made Roly a stubborn child, always and always. He realized this. And he knew he was the only one. Still, he insisted to not want to work. He begged his family to give him 3 more years so he can finish high school.So he spent teenage years cycling 20km to high school everyday during weekdays and fishing with his father during weekends. Whenever he wasn't studying hard, he worked hard.Alhamdulillah, he was offered a scholarship to do medicine in USS from the Cambodian Government at the end of high school.

He had to continue being "the stubborn one".The scholarship only covers tuition fees so he needed money for a place to stay in Pnom Penh, food to eat as well as books to read.His parents can only afford half of these expenses, having other siblings to take care of. Because of this, life was very hard in the first month before he managed to find himself a job.Two jobs to be precise.He distributed newspapers in the early mornings, attend classes during the day and work at a restaurant from 5pm to 10pm. And everyone knows medicine calls for a lot of time reading too. So he sleeps whenever he can.

As before, he studies hard when he isnt working hard.Despite having two jobs, buying books is still a dream. Books from the library are limited so they cant be taken out. So he photostated books to read for this is the only "affordable" choice. But Alhamdulillah, he knew about IMAC, the Islamic Medical Association of Cambodia who referred him to IDB, the Islamic Developmental Bank. He received a small sum of money every month from IDB.

However, in third year, more books are needed. Staying up late in the library isnt enough anymore as many references are in english yet medicine in USS is taught in french. So, he needs more time with books now to translate and study. Life gets more and more pressing for Roly."Sometimes I feel so tired I just want to pack up and return to my village." he said.But he can't. He has pushed this far and he isn't coming back empty-handed, he told us.

Despite all this, he excelled in class. Throughout the length of our stay with him, he always received calls from his friends, asking him to explain something or another from the lectures. He leads a study group and managed to get a teaching job at a private school where he teaches anatomy and biology.He spends his nights preparing for his own classes as well as the classes that he teaches."Sometimes I don't sleep." said Roly. How he manages is beyond me.Life is hard for Roly until today. But he knows that he is far from being most unfortunate. Allah has given him a very strong will to study and intelligence to come with that. He is the only person, the first person he likes to call it, who gets into university in his village.

This calls for a show of thanks to Allah. He finds time to help in IMAC's medical and social relief to the poor to do circumcisions as well as mobile clinics. This is how we got to meet him in Kg. Cham.He told us, one day he will return to serve and help the people of his village. Actions speak louder than words. Whatever he told them before about education, they dont pay attention to. So he really...really wants to prove to his people that education, in Allah's will, can bring success. A better life. He wants others to understand, to follow his footsteps. To know that success is possible to whoever who wants it. Be you the most poverty-stricken person or a rich man.The journey is a tough one but he wants to show others that he will make it. And others will too if they wish to.And I thought.

This is just one person. Amongst hundreds who disapprove. Roly was definitely just one person, but Allah chose him to be the one who changes others. And one person may be all it takes.Allah...truly Ya Allah, I am embarassed with every time that I become I whined and how I sighed living a life full of ease.Forgive me.

By Anis Fozi

Monday, July 20, 2009

CRM09 Offical Sponsors

CRM09 proudly would like to announce our official sponsors for the Mission and we would love to have this opportunity to send our sincere gratitude for their kindness

1. We are proudly to inform you that we will be flying with Airasia and Air Asia has kindly sponsors us with 100kg excess luggage for us to transport all donation materials.

Air Asia, the World's Best Low Cost Airline provides you with the best service for your journey in Asia or even up to London with Air Asia X. Air Asia has now implemet a new offer for it's client where you dont have to pay for Sur Charge fees and Administration fee anymore. You will enjoy a vey low price ticket for your journey. For more info please visit

2. We have received 200 toothpaste from Al-Meswak Mu'min Sdn. Bhd

For your information, Mu'min is a company producing halal toothpaste with variety of taste that will serve your tastebuds and teeth with fresh and awesome sensation. They have Mu'min Kayu Sugi, Mu'min Sensitive, Mu'min Pudina, Mu'min Whitening & Mu'min Junior for kids. Please vivit to get more info.

3. Besides, we also received medical supply and Cash from An- Nur Specialist Hospital

An-Nur Specia Have wide range of medical specialty with new and improvised technology. They have from Anaesthesiology and Cardiovascular Medicine to Family Medicine and lots more specialties. For more information please visit

4. Apart from that, we have also recieved Muqaddam Sponsor from Syarikat Jaafar Rawas Sdn. Bhd.

Syarikat Jaafar Rawas is a muli business company, providing books, Medicine, Clothing line, and Sewing shop. They also provide online shopping where you can shop straight from your house. Fell free to visit them at You may find shopping is easy with Jaafar Rawas.

5. A Halal shop based in United Kingdom, KHYBER PASS KEBAB HALAL SHOP had kindly sponsored us with GBP500. It is a very huge amount for us and we will used them wisely to help the needy.

6. Apart from that, CONSORTIUM GALLERY SYABAB has agreed to sponsor Cambodia Relief Mission with 200 Al-Quran to be brought to Cambodia. It is ver hard to get a copy of Al-Quran in Cambodia, therefore, The effort of the company is very much welcomed.

We also would like to grab this chance to thank all of you who have been donating through our fundraising programm or through our bank account. We still accept any sponsorship from any individu, company or organisation that wish to sponsor our mission. Please contact us.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cycling Trip in support of CRM 2009

CRM 2009 presents...

Nottingham's own trio set on a 35km cycling trip to Derby. They have voluntarily come up to the CRM team to help raise enough funds to buy medical supplies and other humanitarian needs of the poor in Cambodia.

As eager as they are to help the cause, we, the CRM team will do our best to visit house-to-house around Nottingham's student housing area to drop a sponsorship form, for each household's convenience. These sponsorship forms (hopefully,together with your contribution) will then be collected in roughly a week's time Insha Allah.

For households that wish to sponsor but the CRM team aren't able to reach due to various unfortunate reasons, please be happy to transfer the money to the account stated in the poster.

Take-home message:

Sponsor them, and make their cause your cause too.

"Enlightening the hopes of Cambodia"