Last week Tony was in Bangkok to do some fundraising – as you know, the funding shortage caused by the pandemic has spurred our director to constantly be on the lookout for new sponsors and supporters, even across borders, so that Little Hearts may have the necessary financial support to continue helping as many Cambodian orphans as possible and to persevere with its various community outreach activities. Networking is an important part of this effort, so Tony also paid a visit to the Belgian Embassy, which represents Belgium in Cambodia and Laos as well as Thailand.
Tony first met with the Ambassador, H. E. Mrs. Sibille de Cartier d’Yves, and also had productive discussions with the Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Arnt Kennis, and the First Secretary, Mr. Koenraad Du Pont. Little Hearts has always had a good working relationship with the embassy. As you may remember, the embassy’s staff recently donated some very useful equipment that we use every day. The kids painted a colourful friendship poster to thank the embassy, as they always do in response to generous donations, and Tony was mighty pleased to see the very same work of art framed and hanging prominently on the wall of Arnt’s office!
Another pleasant surprise was the news, delivered by Koenraad, that Tony would be the embassy’s nominee for an award from the Christoffel Plantin Fund. The Fund was created to confer a prize each year to a Belgian person residing abroad who has made an extraordinary cultural, artistic, scientific or social contribution and thus deserves the recognition of the Belgian government and his fellow Belgian citizens. About 100 Belgian embassies around the world participate in the selection of the prize winner, with each embassy putting forward the name of one candidate from their jurisdiction. The embassy in Bangkok has decided to nominate Tony for this year’s award, so we’re all cheering for him! Stay tuned – the result will be announced before the end of the year.