What others have written about LHA and Ven. Somnieng

Some articles about Life and Hope Association

From Cambodia

Hundreds of monks to parade through town. Story in Phnom Penh Post. May 9, 2014.

. . . Between 500 and 700 monks will take part in a ‘spiritual blessing journey’ through Temple Town on Monday, the first of its kind and the biggest ever monk procession in Siem Reap.

Orchestrated by Wat Damnak head monk and director of Life and Hope Association, the Venerable Hoeurn Somnieng, the procession will travel through the centre of town, stopping at some hotels and ending up at Sokha Angkor Resort for a silent meditation and prayers.

“The spiritual journey for Siem Reap city on May 12 is one of the many activities of the mass ordination ceremony at Angkor Wat from May 10-15,” says Venerable Somnieng. “So we want to make it more interesting, related to our own roots and culture, through this journey of bringing the great blessing to the city of Siem Reap by over 500 monks.” . . .

Life and Hope Association News. Story in Temple News. April 17, 2014.

. . . In Melbourne, our old friends at Rice for Cambodia, one of LHA’s original sponsors, held several events support our Sustainable Community Program. SCP has recently expanded from its very successful Food for Education origins to initiate a very successful micro-loan program which I will feature in a future letter. . .

Venerable Somnieng’s Story. Story in Siem Reap Post .Com. October 30, 2013.

I’ve been to Wat Damnak with you before. We talked about the Centre for Khmer Studies …However, I met a lady called Carol, and she said I should talk to the Venerable Somnieng –one of the head monks at the Pagoda. She said he had a story to tell. Man was she right.

I had one of these marathon “convert a 45 minute recording”to 1,000 words sessions and this is the bones of the gentleman’s tale. PLEASE take time to read it and wonder about the strength of human will-power.. .

Temple Town’s best kept fashion secret, Story in Phnom Penh Post. April 26, 2013.

. . . Mitsou is now perhaps Siem Reap’s best-kept secret. While the main shop is in Phnom Penh, the creative centre is in Siem Reap, with togs sold locally at Senteurs d’Angkor, Shinta Mani’s monthly street market and at occasional private sales at venues such as Upstairs Café.

At their Siem Reap workshop on National Road 6, the girls conjure up designs from which their head seamstress, Rotha, creates templates. The prototypes are then transformed into clothes by graduates at the Life and Hope Association Sewing School in Wat Damnak. . .

Battling to save a lost nation. Commentary by Ven. Somnieg Houern, Co-founder of Life and Hope Association. Story in the Phnom Penh Post. November 7, 2012.

. . . Our nation is deeply divided politically. The government and opposition groups are barking at one another and have highly negative attitudes towards one another. This is impeding the country’s development. Instead of moving forward, it keeps pulling back.

I believe Cambodia is a deeply lost country. . .

From the United States

SALINE: Local resident Peter Hammer shares his human rights work in Cambodia with Life and Hope Association. Story in Ann Arbor Journal. November 9, 2012.

. . . For most of the year, the Saline resident teaches law students in his role as educator and director of the law school’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. And just about every summer, he travels to Cambodia, where he is chairman of the nonprofit, non-governmental organization Life and Hope Association in Siem Reap. . .

A Discussion with Venerable Hoeurn Somnieng, Executive Director of Life and Hope Association. Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. October 21, 2010.

This conversation between Venerable Hoeurn Somnieng and WFDD researchers Ethan Carroll and Nathaniel Adams took place at Wat Damnak in Siem Reap. Venerable Somnieng discusses the centrality of education and the role of the temple in inspiring meaningful social and political change, as well as the importance of vocational training for vulnerable women. He explains how the leadership at Wat Damnak has made the temple a more welcoming space for women, and shares his desire that organizations working in counter-trafficking address trafficked persons’ emotional and spiritual needs.

The Next Cambodia. By Jika González. A column in The Mantle.

The youth of a nation is that country’s future. While this is true for all countries, the weight of carrying this heavy responsibility rests especially heavy on the shoulders of the Cambodian youth. According to the C.I.A. World Fact Book, an amazing 50% of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 22.

To outsiders, mention Cambodia and two images come to mind: the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-1979, led by the notorious Pol Pot, and the majestic Hindu temple complex at Angkor Wat.

From the United Kingdom

Angela & Charlotte’s Empires of the East Expedition Diary. Journal from Journeys are Made @gapyear.com.

. . . On Monday, we started our Khmer lessons with monks from the local temple. They’re part of the organisation we’ll be working with to build houses later on called the Life and Hope Association. . .

Teaching English – LHA. A blog by Laura & Clive. September 11, 2011.

. . . Mr Veha, a charming man with slicked back hair (who loved being told he was good looking!), asked me one day “Laura, do you have some time in the afternoons to help me teach English to my students?”…. “Erm well sure I can try”.

From that day I taught English every day to two classes of students aged between 18 years and 30 years old. The classes of students were made up of local young people who travelled as far as 1 hour to attend the class, mostly all travelled on their rickety bicycles come monsoon rain pour downs and hottest stickiest sunshine. . . What immediately moved me was the eagerness and willingness to learn from every student to improve their English language skills –with a consensus that to speak English would mean they can get a good job “to help support their families”. . .

From Australia

Riding for Life and Hope. A blog by Aussie Mother and Daughter Kylie and Chloe Sykes.

. . . Kylie has a passion for Cambodia and giving help to the beautiful people who live there. For 3 years Kylie has volunteered for LHA, dedicating her Cambodian trips solely to the children at LHA’s children’s development Village. Here she has formed beautiful relationships with the children and monks who all look forward to her visits. At CDV Kylie helps teach everything from English to craft and personal hygiene. “Their enthusiasm to listen and learn is infectious. All I want is to see them succeed in life- they deserve a fair chance.” . . .

From Singapore

Work/Volunteer: Raising Others Up. Story in Overseas Singapore Unit, June 6, 2011

. . . Inspired by a television programme that featured Hong Kong celebrity Nicholas Tse volunteering with the Life and Hope Association (LHA) in Siem Reap, avid backpacker, globetrotter and IT professional, Matthew Lee boldly decides to embark on a one-man campaign to raise funds and build a house for one of these poor families. . .

CAMBODIAN MONK MAPS DEVELOPMENT PATH. By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepthNewsFeature. April 13, 2014

. . . Somnieng Hoeurn, deputy abbot of Wat Damnak, one of the largest Buddhist temples in this capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia, and a popular resort town as the gateway to Angkor region, laments that the Khmer Rouge completely destroyed Buddhism in Cambodia. He adds with a grin, “We not only have to build temples but also do a lot of mind building.” He believes that both the government and the monastic system need each other to help Cambodia –one of the world’s poorest countries –progress. “A Buddhist temple must respond to 21st century demands,”he says. . .