In just the first two weeks of its “10,000 riel, 10,000 donors” campaign, The Cambodia Kantha Bopha Foundation has received nearly $2 million in donations from more than 200,000 philanthropists, announced the foundation on June 14.

On May 29, the foundation announced the launch of the campaign, which will run from June 1 to 30. The event, which raises funds for the operational cost of the foundation’s free children’s hospitals, was timed to coincide with June 1, International Children’s Day.

“We encourage all philanthropists to work together with us in spirit of ‘Khmer helping Khmer’, to bring smiles to the faces of Cambodian children. They represent the bright future of the Kingdom, so please join the campaign, which will be completed at the end of June,” said the foundation.

The foundation is a national institution whose role is to mobilise donations from philanthropists to sustain the five Kantha Bopha hospitals, which have a total operating cost of approximately $840,000 a week, or more than $40 million every year.

The donations were received both in-person and through online bank deposits.

Chan Narith, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance and head of the foundation secretariat, told The Post on June 14 that the Kantha Bopha Foundation was very proud of the Cambodian people who have united in the spirit of “Khmer helping Khmer” to support the sustainability of the hospitals.

He noted that as the country was at peace, incomes had increased, allowing Cambodians to be more generous and support one another though various charitable campaigns, such as the common cause of saving the lives of the Kingdom’s children.

“This year, the momentum of the campaign has grown from last year, both in terms of the amount raised and the number of donors. A large part of this is down to the management and staff of the foundation, who have learnt from previous campaigns and developed new advertising strategies, particularly through social media,” he said.

“The active participation of government ministries, state and private institutions, banks and the media have also contributed,” he added.

He explained that many people had not only made donations themselves, but encouraged their friends, families and workmates to do so.

“On behalf of the foundation, I would like to thank all the benefactors who help us sustain the operation of our hospitals. We provide high quality medical treatment free of charge, and without discrimination,” he said.

The foundation was established in 2018 and works alongside the Beat Richner Foundation of Switzerland to support the five Kantha Bopha Hospitals. In 2022, it raised about $18 million from people from all walks of life.

The first Kantha Bopha Hospital opened in 1992, and since then, the organisation has treated millions of Cambodian children.

Last month, doctors examined 61,991 children in the outpatient department, and admitted 11,403 of them. Of the children who were hospitalised, 275 were treated for dengue fever and 2,300 underwent surgery, said the foundation.

In addition, 9,189 pregnant women came to Kantha Bopha III Hospital for prenatal check-ups while 1,651 women give birth.

Noy Theany, a resident of Phnom Penh, said she had made a donation to the campaign because as a child, she received free treatment at one of the Kanta Bopha hospitals.

She explained that her donation was made in gratitude for the way the hospitals help Cambodian children. She noted that a small contribution from all citizens would ensure the continued operation of the hospitals for a long time to come.

“Participating in this campaign will allow the hospital to continue to treat minor or major illnesses. Many children whose parents could otherwise not afford to send them to hospital owe their lives to the excellent work of Kantha Bopha,” she said.