In the midst of all that is happening Scott carries with him the “magic” voucher book. Whenever he reaches out his hand in the direction of his fabulous A Team they hand him the Voucher Book and a pen.
It’s a simple book really. A book with icons across the top that represent medical care, food support, education enrollment for the kids, follow up care, micro loans and more. And there is space for Scott to fill in details in his almost illegible hand writing. In some of the little shacks we visit there is no light and he squints as he makes notes on the voucher.
When families see Scott take out the Voucher Book there is an audible sigh of relief. He tears out the top copy and the pink copy stays in the book. At some point between the late night and the
early morning the pink copy will go to a hardworking CCF staff person so that by the time the family comes in the next day the staff is ready to make sure they get what they need.
Families with more immediate needs follow us back to our truck. And the A Team slowly opens the hard shell of the pickup to grab much needed items. A 7 year old boy who had to drop out of school because he had no clothes is given pants and T-shirts. Immediate problem solved. A mother who picks trash during the day while her husband goes at night has no food for her children so there are cans of nutritional drinks and blankets stacked in her arms. Food for the night and a voucher in hand she is on the road to a new life. Children rush forward hoping to get a drink or a T shirt. The A Team empties out the back of the truck to eager and needy hands and our walkabout is complete.
I don’t want to over romanticize what is going on here. But it is difficult not to be wide eyed and awed. Scott is a miracle worker. But it is not just him. He could not deliver the outreach and support to over 1300 kids and their families if he did not have a staff as committed to the children as he.
When he initials a Voucher and hands it over. He knows there will be proper follow up. And within 24 hours he gets an instant update from his team verifying that the family has been taken care of.
The next afternoon Scott sends me an email to share the follow up from the night before – Pictures of families, copies of their vouchers and a list of the services they have already received. And the following message:
“Here is the follow up from our nightly walkabout. Fast & effective. Love it! Begs the question ‘why other are not doing the same’…
Thanks to Scott Neeson and his A Team for my unforgettable walkabout
Pictures courtesy of CCF http://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org
Find more stories from Ardice Farrow’s experiences in ‘Ardice Abroad’.