Khmer Holiday Honors Ancestors

Pchum Ben is an important holiday to honor ancestors

News Release

Pchum Ben is a two-week holiday held in October for Cambodians to pay their respects to their ancestors.  On the first day of this celebration, a program was presented at the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) Community Center to honor the senior citizens that live in the Steung Meanchey area.

Scott Neeson, founder of the CCF, welcomed those who were in attendance and stated: “When we have a community that’s well educated but has no understanding of traditions and values, then we have a society that hasn’t got a soul.”

Scott has helped give “a soul” to his community.

Missionaries from LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were invited to attend this program after having worked with Scott and the CCF on projects over the last few years.

The program included performances by senior citizens of traditional Khmer dancing, singing and instrumentals they learned in a cultural class at the local high school. At the end of the program, Scott awarded each senior citizen a professional portrait and a traditional Kramaa Khmer cloth wrap.

The CCF has reclaimed some very undesirable Phnom Penh property and made it habitable for many needy families. Housing, schools, healthcare and other services are provided for those who agree to abide by the strict rules established. The intent is to promote a self-sustaining lifestyle for these families.

Under Scott’s guidance, the CCF has provided education and a pathway out of poverty for 45 students the first year to now nearly 2,000 students and their families.

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