Hospital run races to $400K

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Uon Pakthom, better known as Sai (centre), runs in Siem Reap town. Information Ministry

The Angkor Hospital for Children received more than $400,000 from a fund-raising campaign led by a Cambodian celebrity singer and performer who has pledged to earn a million dollars for the cash-strapped Siem Reap facility.

The campaign, Run for Charity with Sai, was launched in October by Uon Pakthom, better known as “Sai”. Since then, Sai has garnered donations by running on roads throughout the country and planned to stay at it for 99 days.

Sinketh Arun, the director of the hospital’s Public Relations-Cambodia Department, said the campaign will end in January.

“The hospital received a total of $405,508 by November 23. With all the time remaining, Sai expected to receive $1 million dollars from donors to help the Angkor Hospital for Children,” Arun said.

She added that Sai would leave Siem Reap town on November 27 and run to Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Kampong Cham, Prey Veng and Kandal – before crossing his personal finish line in Phnom Penh.

When Sai ran into Siem Reap province on November 23, deputy provincial governor Pov Piseth came to welcome him at the Jayavarman VII Roundabout along with a crowd of civil servants and students.

Piseth and other participants ran with Sai to Preah Ang Jek Preah Ang Chorm deities to pray for peace and then ran to Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap town.

“For the Siem Reap provincial authorities, I would like to thank Sai and the working group who devoted time to launching this humanitarian campaign. This activity, along with government measures, helps promote the wellbeing of Cambodian children and help sustain the Angkor Hospital for Children,” he said.

Sai said he wanted to show how young Cambodians support each other and contribute to Cambodian society, especially the health sector.

“I was inspired to create the charity run after I saw local media reports about the financial troubles of the hospital. In the past, I took my relatives to be treated at the hospital free of charge,” he said.

“The donations obtained now are more than what I expected. This shows the heart of Khmer donors because, at first, I expected this campaign would bring in $250,000,” Sai said.

Conributions to the Angkor Hospital for Children may be sent to the following accounts: ABA: Angkor Hospital for Children (000 853 843) and Wing: 9122 (riel); 8122 (dollar); ACLEDA: Angkor Hospital for Children (01000105696828); Sathapana: Angkor Hospital for Children (07808082834100102).