In 2017, Dr. Tadje took a humanitarian trip with his son Andrew, to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They were able to provide much needed assistance to a place called CICFO (Cambodia International Children Friendship Outreach). CICFO is a home where about 30 children live in a family environment, so they can attend school. The children are accepted through an application process and are able to live in this home until they are finished with their education. An organization called CICFO-USA raises funds to support the needs of the CICFO family. The CICFO children travel occasionally to visit their birth families, but CICFO is their true home. The children live as a family, sharing meals, chores, love, and support. CICFO is an upgrade for the children who are used to living in absolute poverty. However, even at CICFO, the children sleep in unbearable heat, packed together on the ground, owning nothing but the clothes on their backs. Dr. Tadje and his son wanted to help.
They spent a week staying with the CICFO family. They worked with Kea Botevy, the head of the home, to tackle projects that would improve the children’s living conditions. Dr. Tadje and his son bought some mattresses for the kids to sleep on and installed fans to help with the intense heat and humidity. The Tadjes were able to create a safer living space by covering exposed wires. They read with the kids and played ball with them. Dr. Tadje was impressed with these amazing, impoverished children. In spite of their circumstances, they are happy and optimistic about life. They are content. They look out for one another and work together to provide a safe and peaceful space to exist and grow. Dr. Tadje was grateful for the opportunity he had to help and learn from the CICFO family.
Written by: Rebecca Howard