The River Ocean Cleanup (ROC) organisation called for public participation to celebrate Good Deeds Day Cambodia on December 25. It carried out joint activities including releasing fish, cleaning rivers and distributing food and educational materials to impoverished members off Cambodian society. The day aimed to inspire others to carry out good deeds on a regular basis.

The day was first organised in Cambodia by the ROC in 2020, under the global network of Good Deeds Day, which began in Israel and spread across the world.

According to an ROC press release, the day was marked from 2pm to 7pm in front of the Phnom Penh Night Market, with between 500 and 700 participants.

“We invite people to sow good deeds through ‘Good Deeds Day’. All sharing creates love and brings smiles to oneself and others. Good deeds and positive activities can help people, animals, nature and society,” it said.

Nou Sovann, ROC executive director, told The Post that the purpose of this year’s event was to promote and encourage Cambodians to release fish to increase their population – which would improve the Kingdom’s food security – and participate in cleaning up waterways and planting trees. These activities would also promote a culture of helping each other.

He said the ROC first held the day to alleviate the food insecurity that a significant number of people were experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

“Good deeds are unlimited. They come from our minds and heart. We can do them as individuals, as families or communities, or even as a country. We want this year’s celebrations to raise awareness and encourage more people to think of ways they could carry out their own good deeds, because taken together, they will have a positive effect on the world,” he added.

Sovann claimed that when the river was clean, it improved the lives of the fish and encouraged their population to grow. Likewise, a clean river is essential to supporting the people who live along it. He hoped the Cambodian people would continue to keep the rivers and waterways of the Kingdom clean, even after the day had passed.

“Our goal is to release 16 million fish in Cambodia. Once we have accomplished this, we plan to expand across Asia and then to Europe and the rest of the world. By releasing as many fish as possible, we believe we will contribute to an international culture of doing good deeds. We encourage other countries around the world to learn from Cambodia,” he said.

Volunteer Yon Sokdia, who has just completed grade 12, said she often participated in this kind of activity.

“I wanted to be a part of this because I think establishing a tradition of doing good deeds is an admirable goal,” she added.

She wanted all Cambodians to participate in doing good deeds, no matter how small, and said celebrating the day sent a message to other members of society that such activities were worthwhile.

“This day is special, because I think it will lead other people doing their own good deeds. I think it is important for people to see examples of people who don’t just talk about problems, but participate in solving them,” she added.