Fiona Mance is a passionate supporter of Sunshine Cambodia and the children they serve. So, when our recent Soup and Sunshine event offered an opportunity to host friends and introduce them to the work of Sunshine, she jumped at the chance.
Shortly after the event, we caught up with Fiona to find out a little more about her connection with Sunshine and how the event went at her place on the night.
You obviously have a heart for Sunshine Cambodia and the children they serve, how did that connection come about?
About 12 years ago I was asked to ‘help out’ at a fundraiser to support an organisation in Cambodia for children. Then, after learning about the crushing poverty and the tumultuous history in Cambodia I was compelled to go and see for myself the difference Sunshine was making in the lives of these children.
Since that initial visit when Sunshine was working in one of the slum communities with about 40 children, the organisation has expanded to over 300 children, their families, six different slum communities and more recently into some of the rural provinces near Phnom Penh.
And over all those years, what has kept you so enthusiastic about the work of Sunshine?
I have been privileged to walk alongside the local staff who serve those on the Sunshine program. I have witnessed the transformation of lives, the breaking of the cycle of poverty, the development of life skills, children being given hope, communities transformed, and the miraculous power of the gospel being not only preached but demonstrated through love, generosity, and kindness.
Over the last few years, even when we haven’t been able to visit, we’ve continued to support Sunshine through monthly prayer requests, social media, fundraising and awareness-raising events.
When we put out the offer to host Soup and Sunshine in people’s homes you were one of the first to jump on board, what excited you about this event?
The Soup and Sunshine event was a wonderful opportunity to introduce Sunshine Cambodia to more friends and show the incredible difference such a program can make. We enjoyed an evening of food and learning, and I think the people that came to our place were astounded by what a difference only a small donation can make to a life in Cambodia.
I saw some photos from the night and everyone was wearing beautiful scarves, what was the story behind that?
In Cambodia, when you go to a wedding you are gifted a scarf to remember the event, so I thought it would be nice to give everyone a token to remember Sunshine, not only on the evening but every time they see that memento.
What a wonderful idea! It looked like you had a great night, where there any particular highlights for you?
The highlight of the event was being able to share the incredible work of Sunshine with others and to see the work that the staff have been doing in the new rural centres. I am VERY much looking forward to going back again.