Zooming along the dusty red country lanes of Cambodia every morning on her little moped headed towards the children’s village that she founded and runs, retired school teacher Sue Wiggans cuts a formidable figure. “I’m a Hell’s Angel biker granny” she jokes, and yet as the children rush out to greet her with hugs, kisses and such palpably genuine love and excitement, she seems more like the warm loving matriarch of a big, beautiful family of children who, thanks entirely to her dedication, commitment and efforts, are being given a chance at a better childhood and a brighter future. Here Sue tells us in her own words how she came to swap her comfortable life on the Isle of Wight for the rural outskirts of Siem Reap.
When did you first visit Cambodia and what was it that inspired you to found Honour Village?
I first visited Cambodia in February 2009. I asked my guide to arrange a visit to a children’s project. Whilst there, a child tried to say something to me, but I was unable to understand him until my guide came over and told me the child wanted to say: “best wishes all the time.”
I returned the following winter to volunteer. I taught the children for seven weeks, and loved the experience. During the year, I had responded to a plea for funding to buy land for a permanent home for the children. Sadly, right at the end of my stay I discovered, quite by chance, that the project was being mismanaged.
I returned after a month to try to sort out this sorry state of affairs and help the director to put his house in order. It soon emerged that he had no intention of doing anything to mend his ways. We discovered that the money I had sent had not been used to buy land. On closer investigation half of the children, turned out to be family members or friends of the director, and the others were brought in from the villages for the benefit of visiting tourists.
At this point of despair a truly astonishing chain of coincidences happened. If any one of the links in the chain had not been there, then I would not now be living in Cambodia. As a Christian, I believe that coincidences are sometimes God-incidences, and I still stand in awe at what has happened in the last four years. I was invited to meet with H.E. Seang Nam, the Member of Parliament for Siem Reap. He listened to my story and offered to give land and that if I came and founded a project, he would put his name on the land. Within a couple of days, I knew I would come to live in Cambodia.
How many children do you look after, how do they come to you and what are your criteria for taking in a new child?
For the last year, we have had a residential family of 53 children. We have also been blessed with a highly experienced consultant social worker from the UK, who has been working with us for six months. A colleague joined her for two months, and they both plan to return on a regular basis, to help Honour Village and other NGOs in the vital work of reintegration. Some of the children may be able to return to their villages in the future, and others will live with us until they are ready for independence, having been supported through further education and a period of transition. During this time they will learn life skills and have regular visits from our social work team, which is set to expand very soon.
Can you give us any case studies regarding some of the children that you have with you at present? (Names and ages have been altered to protect identity)
Q., 22 months, was brought to us by his father, who was at the time very ill with both HIV and TB. At the time he was the sole carer and the situation was very urgent. Q. settled happily with a dedicated housemother as his care-giver, and grew into a happy and highly intelligent little boy. His father recovered and found work and visited whenever he could. Each time his father visited it was clear that there was a strong and loving bond between them. Eventually, Q. was able to return home when an aunt offered to look after him while his father was at work.
J., 11 years, will continue to live as a member of our resident family because his only care-giver, unrelated, is not only unable to give care, but is also violent and addicted to rice wine. It would not be safe for J. to return back to his village, but he will visit a friend in the village in the company of one of our social workers three times a year, and spend the holidays with a staff family.
Can you talk us through an average day at Honour Village?
Honour Village began as a residential home for children who were unable to remain in their villages because of extreme poverty together with family problems such as addiction and domestic violence. Our main project is now Honour Village School. We provide Khmer (Cambodian language), English, maths and computer classes freely to all local children in our commune. Our English (with maths) classes are taught by a Khmer teacher and a group of volunteers, both Khmer and western.
We have 350 children on roll, although irregular attendance is still a problem in a rural community where rice is planted and harvested and other chores and local ceremonies take place. We also serve a simple snack both morning and afternoon to the children.
On Sundays, boys and girls go into town if they wish to play or cheer on the football teams in inter-NGO matches arranged by Globalteer.
How do you ensure the growth, development and welfare of the resident children?
Our resident family is cared for by seven Khmer housemothers. There are currently three homes for boys and one for girls. Very soon we plan to partition one home so that siblings can live together as a family.
Every resident child eats three good meals a day, and their improved health and energy are a result. They receive free care at the Angkor Children’s Hospital and we take them to a private dentist once a year. Our social workers have now been trained in direct work with children – using a small playhouse and people, Khmer style furniture and accessories. This work is in its initial stages, but already the children are asking to have a turn with the house, and to come back for a further session. Direct work enables a child to look at previously hidden feelings and memories and to express emotions that have been repressed. It also enables the social worker to understand more about the child’s wishes and dreams of bonding and family relationships.
Cambodia is a largely Buddhist nation, what elements of the local and Buddhist culture do you encourage at Honour Village and how do you feel it benefits the children?
For almost three years we had meditation as a family every weekday, now I have introduced a one-minute meditation before each kindergarten class begins. It is amazing how these small children come into class and immediately sit with their hands upturned on their knees, waiting for our meditation bell to sound. All of our children are Buddhist, and meditation is part of the Buddhist tradition. Not only does meditation lead a child further into his/her birth tradition and philosophy; it also is good for self-discipline and can enable greater self-awareness.
Our resident children live in as similar a way as we can provide to match that of their home in the village. By keeping our life style as local as possible, we are looking to the future when our children will return to a local setting; so we guard against western influence as far as we can so that the transition will be easier. There would be no benefit, even if we had the funding, in providing facilities that only the best paid employees could ever attain to; the reality is that there are never enough highly paid jobs for those who would like them. For any of our children who do well in life, it will be a step up; for most of them, there will not be a step down if we do things the local way.
What paths can the children take once they have reached the age where they should move on from Honour Village and how are you facilitating this transition?
During the next three or four years we plan to provide at least one opportunity for vocational training on site, and we are already liaising with other NGOs and the youth employment service so that we have other links ready for when our oldest children leave school. They may decide to study until they are older than normal school leaving age (18 years) as they are almost all behind with their studies, having had disrupted schooling, or having been promoted beyond their understanding in their former schools. Any student who passes Grade 12 and wants to go to university will be sponsored for a course of their choice.
Why did you choose the name Honour Village?
The name Honour Village seemed a good name for a project that had sprung out of corruption, because of the gift of land. This gift enables us to build permanent structures, which is not recommended on rented land. We are very blessed indeed to have it. Our motto is Truth – Transparency – Integrity. Our vision is to provide communities with opportunities for change through education. Our logo is an open lotus flower, which again symbolizes purity and truth, as well as being a symbol of Buddhism.
How can people get involved in the work you are doing at Honour Village Cambodia?
People can help to spread awareness of our work. They can arrange donations which can be put through the Virgin Giving page on our website. www.honourvillage.org
We welcome volunteers for a minimum of two months, to work in our school either as assistant teachers or as play-leaders. We do not accept casual visitors, but if a sponsor or potential sponsor is in town, then we are very happy to welcome them for discussion and a brief look around the village. Visitors might consider bringing good used laptops, books, jigsaw puzzles, educational toys or cotton clothing in their luggage.
You mentioned corruption in small privately run orphanages or charities. How can people ensure their time or money is going to worthy, credible and trustworthy causes?
If you want to give either your time as a volunteer, or your money as a sponsor, I think you need to look for the following things:
- Transparency and a willingness to answer any questions you may have on any subject.
- A good Child Protection Policy that must be read, understood and signed by anyone who is on site for more than a short visit. Visitors must be accompanied at all times by a member of staff or volunteer.
- All volunteers should have had background checks, carry current police checks, and provide evidence of these.
- No volunteer should be doing work that could be done by a local employee. Do not agree to work in a residential project where you are asked to do child care work that should be given by local women employed and trained as housemothers. If you and others give children basic care on a short-term basis, this may affect the children’s abilities to make lasting relationships. The best volunteering positions are those in which the volunteer is enabling local staff to increase their skills and autonomy.
- There should be accounts that are available for you to look through without feeling rushed. Preferably accounts should be audited.
- Be wary if a project appears very poor and short of funding. Be very wary if a director tells you there is no money. Sadly, many small projects deliberately keep their children looking poor and badly dressed in order to win sympathy. It is tempting to choose a seemingly underfunded project over a better-presented one, thinking that your money will do more good. It is very unlikely that you will be the only person moved to help a poor project, and you need to ask yourself what benefits the children have been receiving from other peoples’ funding. If you become a regular sponsor, then expect to see the difference your funding has made on your next visit, or photographic evidence. Gifts such as school notebooks may be used for the children, or they may be returned to the market. This applies to any saleable items.
- Ask to see some old photos of the project’s children, and see how many you can identify – sometimes children are brought in from the villages especially for the tourists, and their stay is temporary, during the high season. However, if there is a no-photo policy, it is probably a good sign.
- Notice what sort of transport the director uses. If he drives a Lexus, ask yourself what salary he is paying himself! Is this reflected in the accounts?
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future of Honour Village Cambodia?
To increase the skills and abilities of the Khmer staff and assistants in teaching, child care, social work and a range of other areas; to encourage a sustainable model and provide excellent, safe and loving care in our homes and excellent education in our school; to enable as many children as possible to re-enter their families or home villages on a safe and successful basis; to ensure that the children continue their development, and have vocational training opportunities, or a university education, followed by employment; to provide adult education as local people desire, probably in sustainable agriculture and fish rearing.
How does founding Honour Village and its subsequent growth make you feel?
Honored, privileged, awed, excited, tired, relieved, busy and quietly confident for the future.
As someone who is embodying the ‘Be the Change you Hope to See in the World’ motto, what advice would you give to others aspiring to live by this principle?
We cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves in many ways. Our strengths and weaknesses affect other people. I like to try to live with an open heart and mind, so that I am available to change even when it feels uncomfortable.
Thank you so much for your time and for being an inspiration to others.
Why ‘Conspiracy Theories’ & Spirituality Are Intimately Connected
- The Facts:
Refusing to understand how our world truly functions and simply calling exploration into this as 'negative' is a common spiritual bypass. The elite/cabal is here for a reason, we must understand that.
- Reflect On:
Why do we find ourselves calling conspiracies negative or something we should not talk about? Why do we refuse to face some of the 'darker' things inside, or even outside, of ourselves?
Is it considered ‘not spiritual’ to talk about an elite or cabal running our world? This has become a commonplace today, and there is a great deal of ridicule that comes when people feel looking at the truth of what is playing out in our world is ‘crazy’ or a ‘negative’ thing to do. In fact, the ‘negative’ label on conspiracy theories we place is one of the biggest spiritual bypasses we can do. Let’s dive into this.
The truth is, understanding the way our world truly functions and consciousness evolution (spirituality) go hand in hand. Why? Because it is all part of life here. It is not separate! You don’t have spirituality on one side and conspiracies or truth on the other. It’s all interconnected in our life and human experience. And it’s time to bring them together.
Note: I did an amazing CE Podcast episode on this subject you can listen to here. It goes even deeper into the subject than this article.
This isn’t true 100% of the time of course, but in a lot of cases, we see those in the truth-seeking realm feel consciousness or spirituality is airy fairy and has no place in the big picture and is just a new age distraction. On the flip side, we see those engaged in spirituality-seeking feel conspiracy/truth-seeking people are crazy and negative. While there is truth to some extent in both cases, there is a lot more to the discussion and a very important purpose for both.
You’ve probably experienced it at some point, it’s believable that GMO’s are unhealthy and corporations are using them to make money in a number of ways but it’s damaging to people and the environment, but yet there is no possible way that’s happening with vaccines… or that 9/11 was an inside job. Let me be the first to say, there are a number of conspiracy theories that have no backing, no facts, are far-reaching and in many cases don’t even help us along our journey. But this is not the case with many, in fact, the amount of evidence is often staggering and it’s simply that we don’t want to believe it.
I’m writing this because I’m calling for an end of the reduction of conversation to ‘that’s crazy’ ‘that’s fake news’ ‘that’s a conspiracy’ etc. as it does nothing but maintain division, a lack of awareness and a misinformed world that can’t thrive. Time and time again what is often called ‘conspiracy’ turns out to be true only a few months or a year later. We can end this cycle by learning and choosing to listen instead of dismissing, then checking in with our hearts/souls about what role this is playing in our experience so we can dissolve the need for the cabal.
Why They Go Hand In Hand
Some of us view spirituality as learning techniques to feel good, as ways to cope with life and the challenges we have in our modern world. Some view it as a means to begin to feel better about the prospect of death. Others view it as a way to explore what’s beyond the physical and who we truly are.
From a conspiratorial side, when we’re talking about digging past mainstream media to find out what’s really going on in our world, some view it as a way to disempower the elite that does not have humanities best interests at heart. Others view it as a way to take back our power. Some see it as a way to uncover the truth of how our world truly works so we can begin to thrive. Some react to these truths with wanting revenge or justice, this is an important thing to note as this is where the spirituality comes in.
So it appears we have ‘two sides’ as we often like to do within ego states of consciousness. But what role does the elite and cabal play in our experience? How has that served to suppress our spirituality and why has it all happened? The two are intimately connected because part of the game we are playing on earth here is that we have to uncover what has been happening in our reality and remember who we truly are. This is a spiritual journey, that involves understanding the players in the game and the roles they play.
I’ve been running a conscious media and education company for 9.5 years now. Our mission is to bridge the gap between truth-seeking and spirituality via exploring a shift in consciousness taking place on our planet. We understand that both are part of one big picture in life and you can only go so far in each before you MUST bring in the other to deepen your understanding.
During the 9.5 years since I started Collective Evolution, I have seen thousands of people go through various stages of discovering and learning, both in truth-seeking and spirituality, that has sent them on different paths. Some begin to discover our food system is rigged for a lack of health and they begin eating cleaner. This leads them to understand our entire world is ‘rigged against us’ and suddenly there is a shift in how they see the world. I have seen others attend a yoga class and this begins a journey into connecting with self deeply.
But in both cases, I often see an identity form. The yogi becomes identified as a ‘spiritual person,’ dresses a certain way, talks a certain way and may refuse to look at anything the ‘truth-seekers’ are saying because they don’t want to fall into that crowd. The truth-seekers are often angry, pissed off at the world, call everyone else sheeple and think the elite need to die in prisons. They might look at the ‘yogi’ or ‘spiritual’ crowd as having fallen into pseudo-scientific new age deception because they look at consciousness and spirituality.
Then there are those who have journeyed beyond that stage and are simply authentic and understand how both ingredients, truth-seeking and spirituality, are one in the same and part of the journey. They are both a part of this game we call life and if we truly want to evolve, move forward, remove the cabal and so forth, we must see the truth and learn why it was there in the first place for our own evolution in consciousness.
The video below explores the role the elite/cabal play in our spiritual journey.
It’s A Role!
Remember, what the cabal and elite are doing isn’t negative in the big picture scheme of things. To our mind it might be, but not to our souls. This is why you must connect deeply with self to overcome the vengeful hateful view the mind creates when we observe them.
What they are doing simply is. And for our souls, it is the journey we asked for to challenge ourselves to remember who we truly are in a very disconnected system. The cabal, are just souls having an experience too, and we all agreed on this together. This doesn’t mean we accept what they are doing in the physical and just take it, no, it simply means we must evolve our consciousness and overcome the need for them for it to stop.
How does that look or happen? We must understand why it’s there by going beyond the judgement and the emotion and see what the trap it creates for us. With that understanding, we no longer can get trapped in the angry, hateful emotions that hold this world in place and instead we choose, from a consciousness point of view, to create a different world. This not only affects collective consciousness and helps others awaken, but we then now can create a new world, both physically and consciously, that comes from a higher state of consciousness and not one that is built in fear, anger and judgement of the old one. Remaining in that old state will only create more of the same world.
Again, I feel it is very important to listen to the podcast episode on this one as it goes into deep detail about this.
If you find yourself viewing matters in either of these polarized lights, challenge yourself to ask why? Why have this opposition to either side and why are we coloring things as positive or negative in the first place? What is that showing us about ourselves? Our fear of looking at our own ‘darkness?’ Collective ‘darkness?’ In many ways, what the elite/cabal are doing is just a reflection of our own journeys on a macro scale. It’s reflecting humanity’s current state of consciousness as we awaken to the truth. Change Starts Within.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression
- The Facts:
Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.
- Reflect On:
The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.
The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.
There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.
This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.
Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.
Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”
The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.
Why Does This Work?
Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.
According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.
The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.
We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
It’s Not New: Pictures Show The Fight Against Vaccines Is Well Over 100 Years Old
- The Facts:
The struggle against vaccination, especially compulsory vaccination mandated by a government/industry coalition, was met with fierce resistance from people during the early history of vaccination over a century ago.
- Reflect On:
What does the pictorial evidence of opposition to vaccines from early in the previous century tell us about today's vaccine industry?
In the foreword to the book by Doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk entitled ‘Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,’ Dr. Jayne L. M. Donegan sums up the vaccine ‘landscape’ that she and all MDs enter into as they become doctors:
Despite questioning the safety and efficacity of vaccination by reputable medical men since its introduction, debate has been, and is, increasingly discouraged. Information published in scientific journals is used to support this position, other views being regarded as “unscientific.”
It was a received “article of faith” for me and my contemporaries, that vaccination was the single most useful health intervention that had ever been introduced. Along with all my medical and nursing colleagues, I was taught that vaccines were the reason children and adults stopped dying from diseases for which there are vaccines. We were told that other diseases, such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, typhus, typhoid, cholera, and so on, for which there are no vaccines at the time, diminished both in incidence and mortality (ability to kill) due to better social conditions.
You would think–as medical students who are supposed to be moderately intelligent–that some of us would have asked, “But if deaths from these diseases decreased due to improved social conditions, mightn’t the ones for which there are vaccines also have decreased at the same time for the same reason?” But we didn’t.
The medical curriculum is so overloaded with information that you just have to learn what you hear, as you hear it: nonvaccinatable diseases into the social conditions box and vaccinatable diseases into the vaccines box and then onto the next subject.
What this book especially brought to light for me was not just that open ‘debate’ on vaccination is systematically stifled, but the gruesome early history of vaccination itself is hidden, suppressed, and denied. For me, just knowing the early history of vaccination has been enough for me to see that all along this phenomena has fundamentally been about power and money, in complete and abject disregard for human health. I believe an open-minded reading of the book mentioned above will lead you to the same conclusions.
Early Resistance Against Vaccines
The early history of vaccines is fraught with egregious trial-and-error ‘science’ on humans treated as guinea pigs matched with strong-arm tactics at compulsory vaccination. But even though they were dealing with human populations that were not as educated as we may be today, the illness and deaths of children resulting from vaccination were not lost on parents–and in some cases, before the medical establishment had full control over their doctors’ muzzles, were admitted to by doctors. Here are a few among many pictorial examples and their heart-breaking stories:
At a time when mainstream media, government, and the medical establishment were not the well-oiled machine of elite propaganda they are today, public outrage and attempts to mobilize against compulsory vaccination were squarely in the public eye:
Anti-Vaccine Literature And Images
Like today, there were professionals and researchers speaking out against the dangers of vaccination, and probably suffered from the same lack of funding to proliferate their message.
Comparisons With Today
One would imagine that if the early vaccine industry actually cared about public health, that even the death or crippling of ONE CHILD that occurred directly after vaccination would cause them to shut down operations until they could verify that this death was not caused by vaccines. Alas, these pictures demonstrate otherwise. And if it did not happen then, it certainly is not happening now.
The outright lie found on government medical websites that ‘vaccines are safe and effective’ belies the fact that a special fund and a special court was set up by the government to issue compensation to sufferers of vaccine injury that has already paid out over $3.7 billion dollars. The fact is that this court was set up to prevent people from being able to sue vaccine companies directly, because it was forecast that all the vaccine manufacturers would go bankrupt if they were not protected from being sued. That’s how ‘safe and effective’ vaccines have proven to be.
Sure, today there is less of a push towards compulsory vaccination–but that is in part due to the awesome and tireless work of enraged citizens at the turn of the century as evidenced in these pictures! All that happened was that the vaccine industry realized that they could better ply their trade by focusing not on forced vaccination and the obvious resistance it generates, but rather by controlling the narrative with well-funded propaganda through coordinated efforts of the medical establishment, government, and the media. Part of this effort is hiding the history from us that we see in the pictures featured here.
If we are to become clear as a collective about the big picture of what is going on behind government and industry policy today, sometimes a brief look at history is all it takes.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
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