On a scale that had never been seen before, the Three Hearts Foundation (THF) and its leading partner, Tennis Cambodia, took up a massive job of cleaning up the coastal town of Kep for close to four hours on Saturday with the help of nearly 2,000 volunteers, including hundreds of tennis players, residents and government officials.
The environmental drive was led by THF’s managing director, Hisae Arai, a former 2011 Miss Japan and Global Goodwill Ambassador of Tennis Cambodia with 2014 Miss Japan Marina Hanaoka joining an array of high-profile invitees including former Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Shinohara Katsuhiro, governor of Kep, Sen Katha, former health minister and president of THF, Dr Hong Sun Huot.
“The response from the community was unbelievable. The operation was on a far bigger scale. We covered wider areas and there clearly is heightening of awareness about keeping the city clean compared to last year” Hisae Arai said.
Officially branded as “Kep Kep Clean”, the drive was coordinated by Tennis Cambodia, which besides involving hundreds of tennis playing kids also brought in national players to take part in the program to reaffirm its commitment to the protection of the environment
“We are happy to partner THF in this great cause.Kep is shaping itself as Cambodia’s second tennis center after Phnom Penh Our job is not just creating excellence in tennis. We want our kids, players and tennis community to be responsible citizens”, secretary-general of Tennis Cambodia Tep Rithivit, who is also executive director of THF, told the Post yesterday.
Apart from unveiling new Environment Awareness boards, the THF donated to the town several trash bins to be placed at various locations where its need is most felt.
The event also marked the growing friendship between Japan and Cambodia and celebrated the more than 60 years of this bond between the two countries with a variety of social and cultural programs.
To promote one of its popular themes – clean air, clean fun – the THF organised a kite-flying exhibition in which as many as 2,000 flying marvels in different shades and shapes were sent soaring high. As symbolic gesture several guests planted Koki trees, which have a life span of more than 100 years.
On the cultural front a Marina Hanaoka performed a Japanese-style Flower Dance that told the story of the legendary Kep Fairy, who locals protects the citizens, nature, sea and marine life. Kids from the local Ayravady school performed traditional dance and a skit that sent out a message to keep the surrounds clean.