One trip changed everything for Patrick McKinlay. Five years ago, Patrick travelled from Scotland to Cambodia to visit the child he was sponsoring and see Cambodian Children’s Fund in person. He ended up staying a lot longer than expected when he took on the position of donor relations manager for Cambodian Children’s Fund. He envisioned working here two years; he stayed for five years.

Patrick, who recently left CCF to take a position at a university, had a farewell party thrown in his honor by the teens of the CCF1 facility. The sponsorship office where he worked is located in the building, and over the years he developed a close bond with the children as they adjusted to life outside the garbage dump.

There was a lot of love in the room, as one young adult after another took the stage to share stories about Patrick and express their gratitude. Some of the teens were emotional, and the same could be said about Patrick.

“This isn’t a goodbye,” he told the kids. “It’s a ‘see you later.’”

Before coming to CCF, Patrick spent 18 years in the Royal Airforce, where he was deployed in ground combat operations during the first Gulf War. When he left the service, Patrick joined a Postgraduate Institute in Edinburgh and introduced and delivered a range of essential non-clinical training courses for working doctors. Later, with NHS Education for Scotland, he helped develop national assessment and appraisal systems for clinicians and dentists.

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