With 9 sponsored children, Clive Miners has a big investment in helping lay the foundations for the future of Cambodian Children’s Fund

 

Committing to sponsoring nine children is a huge responsibility but one that Clive Miners has embraced with an enthusiasm to make a difference in their lives.

Asked how he managed to reach nine, Clive cannot remember the specifics, only that he kept seeing more children in need who he could help beyond simply making a donation.

“I’m not sure how it got to nine, over a couple of years it just kept growing,” laughs Clive.

“What you get back, seeing how somebody’s life is so changed from what is relatively a small amount of money for me and maybe for other people, is amazing.”

Clive, who has two grown-up daughters, first became aware of Cambodian Children’s Fund after reading about founder Scott Neeson’s journey in a newspaper in Hong Kong, where he has lived for almost 40 years after moving from the UK.

It led to him sponsoring his first CCF child – a girl, Srey Pich, then aged just under three – in February 2013. Another two children, both girls, followed just four months later.

By April 2016, his CCF family had expanded to nine, with seven girls and two boys. The ages now range from six years old up to 14.

To sponsor so many children is a huge-hearted gesture but Clive, who has a successful business in Hong Kong, believes that he’s the lucky one, benefitting from the unique bond that sponsoring a CCF child offers.

“When you look at who they are and where they have come from, and how you can watch them grow, it’s amazing and special,” he says.

Answering emails and writing messages back to nine different kids, while running a business, can be a bit of a challenge, he admits.

“I always feel guilty about not having enough time to just answer their emails and be involved because I do a lot of travelling with my work,” he explains.
“But I always try to get a system where I can answer as quick as possible.
“You get all these stories coming through about what they’ve been doing and what they’ve been up to and I always try to encourage them and tell that ‘You’re doing amazingly well’.
“They always seem so happy and joyous and respectful and thankful for what’s been done.”

Having visited Cambodia and see firsthand how CCF works and the financial transparency, has given Clive a full perspective of the organisation.

“I’ve always tried to find something in Hong Kong or in China, because obviously that’s where I live and I’m sure there are lots and lots of charities there, but I’ve never really found something quite the same,” he says.

“I have no connection to Cambodia, but having read the story and come here and seen it, you can see that it really does something.
“In every report that seems to come out of CCF, so much 99% goes to where it’s meant to go.
“A lot of times you can just give money to charities but here, you actually have that connection and the good thing is that you are helping the family stay together.
“That to me is what CCF is about, keeping the family together.”

Clive and his partner Ting Ting travelled to CCF earlier this month (May) and managed to meet up with all nine children at the same time, for the first time.

He hopes that one day his two daughters, aged 21 and 24, will make the journey with him to Cambodia.

Sponsors get as much out of the relationship as the children do, according to Clive.

“To me, especially as I get older, I appreciate more that a little bit of money can give something so much to somebody and that’s what I feel is more worthwhile than buying clothes or something,” says Clive, who turns 60 this year.

“If I can take some of the money I’ve got that’s a little bit spare, I would much rather do that and see that benefit, that gives me a better feeling, giving something back.”

The joy from giving is not dependent on how much you can give, he says.

“It doesn’t matter whether I sponsor nine or somebody just sponsors one, it’s fantastic that somebody does that or even just gives a bit of money. Everybody does what they can do. I don’t really know why I got to nine and it doesn’t matter. As long as I can keep affording to do that, it’s great. I’m very happy.”

As to whether he might extend his CCF family even further in the future and sponsor another child or three, Clive is open to the possibility.

“I’ve always thought about do I do anymore, get the football team [12] or just get to 10, and maybe I will one day, we’ll see,” he says.

“It’s just a privilege to be involved and it’s going to be great to see what they achieve.”

* If you have been left feeling inspired to sponsor a child or a granny with CCF, you can find out more here.

Kate Ginn/CCF

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