12/06/2016, 14.48
CAMBODIA
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As New Humanity ends its work in Cambodia, this is "A new beginning,” not an end

Present in the country since 1992, the PIME NGO has handed over its activities to local organisations and dioceses. The PIME vicar general attended the closing ceremony. The “final aim of every development organisation should be to ‘help people to become independent [. . .].’ This is exactly what is happening today.”

Kompong Chhnang (AsiaNews) – New Humanity, an NGO run by the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in Cambodia, has wrapped up its projects in the Asian nation.

In view of this, “Someone may say that this is the end, but we prefer to see it as a new beginning,” said Fr Davide Sciocco, PIME vicar general at today’s closing ceremony in Kompong Chhnang, just north of Phnom Penh.

Indeed, “We strongly believe that the final aim of every development organisation should be to ‘help people to become independent, so that they will not need us anymore.’ This is exactly what is happening today.”

Mgr Olivier Schmitthaeusler, apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh, was present at the event, along with the apostolic prefects of Battambang and Kompong Cham, civil authorities, New Humanity staff, PIME missionaries in Cambodia, PIME lay missionaries, and hundreds of people, particularly the families of disabled children and teenagers who benefited in recent years from New Humanity’s many works.

Over the past few years, New Humanity centred its action on providing assistance and integrating people with physical and mental disabilities, and carried out a special outreach programme to raise awareness and educate families.

For the past few years, the NGO associated with PIME had been working on handing over its activities to local organisations, in particular in the last two years through joint action with the NGO of the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang (western Cambodia). The handover was done in such a way as to maintain high level of activities.

In his address, Fr Sciocco said, “We are happy to see that, after more than 20 years, all our projects can be managed directly by local organisations and dioceses, and New Humanity can now hand over all its activities and extend its actions in other Countries.

“This is a big result, and the beginning of a new phase. New Humanity will follow up this development with keen interest and sympathy.

“I want to thank all the staff of New Humanity Cambodia, the local and national authorities for their support and the Catholic Church of Cambodia for their willingness to take the interventions into the future.

New Humanity was established in 1992, after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the government.

In 24 years, the NGO undertook four programmes: the establishment of the Faculty of Sociology at the University of Phnom Penh (closed in 2010), the agriculture programme (closed in 2011), and the programmes for education and disability, which will be handed over at the end of 2016.

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