On Saturday April 29, HE Paul Menkveld, chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangkok, joined the celebration of the Dutch national day in Phnom Penh. During the event, Mr Menkveld announced that HM King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands would appoint Dutchman Jonkheer Willem Phillip (Billy) Barnaart, founder of the Jeanine and Billy Children Foundation, a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. The royal decoration is awarded for his outstanding contribution to Dutch and Cambodian society. Billy Barnaart started the foundation in 2007, and it has since supported many orphans and vulnerable children and their families who are affected by HIV/AIDS by creating a loving and caring environment and providing proper education. He is also one of the founders of the Hope for People Living With HIV/AIDS Organisation (started in 2002), which provides home-based care to families and establishes childcare centres where hundreds of young people are educated. In addition, Barnaart provides consular assistance to Dutch citizens in need across Cambodia, and to the Dutch Probation Service and Epafras Foundation by visiting Dutch prisoners in Cambodia. Furthermore, he has been coaching the Cambodian Mine Action Centre United Football Club for many years.
On the rooftop of a Singapore shopping mall, a sprawling patch of eggplants, rosemary, bananas and papayas stand in colourful contrast to the grey skyscrapers