Day one: In the Novotel, Heathrow.
After a 7 hour coach journey, the Novotel is a welcome break. As it were. Suitcase comes in at 19.9 kg, at least 17kg of which consists of an array of children’s clothes, 12 sets or more of everything, T-shirt’s, socks, dresses, shorts, hats, those sleep suit things babies wear, long and short sleeves. And a box of pens, crayons, coloured pencils, and colouring books, made by myself, printed by Mixam, funky drawing for the children to colour in.
The children, aged up to 3 years old, twelve of them, 8 boys and 4 girls, are in Phnom Penh prison, with their mothers. I’m delivering these supplies via Prison Fellowship Cambodia, a charity with a quite extraordinary background. I’ll be working with them for a week, to begin with, then more so I hope, bringing hope, if I can, and compassions, if I can, to the prisoners, and their families, whom PFC serve.
This is the first of a series of Humanitarian Interventions, that I call Compassions. As a process it is art, it is business, it is personal calling, it is faith in action. It is the creation of a system. And through this journey, which I am now on, a system will I hope be created to provide for people, poor people, children, families.
I’ll be documenting the journey, and importantly, the Compassions. As well as sharing some of the sights, sounds, smells flavours and feelings of the experience.
I remember. The suitcase also contains 12 big soft cuddly toys, and another smaller ones. Something to love.