The Magician


The visionary and founder of Cambodian Children’s Fund is many things: a former Hollywood executive, a charismatic leader, a warrior for the rights of children and women, a powerful negotiator and the list goes on.
But in addition to all these – he is in fact a Magician. A person who in a twinkle of an eye can make sad little faces turn into hesitant smiles, transform the dirtiest urchins into little scholars and give a lost family shelter and new direction. The children and the people in the Steung Meanchey slums know this, so when Scott is out on his nightly walkabouts he is most often surrounded by an audience of fans hoping to see him pull a proverbial rabbit out of a hat.
In all the commotion that usually surrounds him his movements are almost undetectable.
And yet when Scott wants to change something, fix something or tend to something it can happen almost instantly. He sweeps around never loosing eye contact with his admiring audience and “poof” – a child is washed, dressed and fed, a beaten wife is in the care of the medical team, a young girl with dengue fever is swept up by the CCF staff disappearing into the night and off to the local hospital, a naked child is suddenly dressed in t-shirt and sweat pants so he can go to school the next day and the list goes on.
Recently far out in the village late at night, a child had a small injury and magically Scott’s pick-up truck pulled up with the first aid kit. In moments the child was tended to, set right with a Spiderman band aid on his forehead and treated to a new toy car.
Later on, in a crowd watching his every move Scott does a quick slight of hand and slips a needy mother a few dollars and her family eats for the night, his indecipherable hand writing on a voucher given in the dead of night contains a magical code that opens the door of education and support for a family at the first light of day, a pink piggy bank stuffed with a dollar appears in the hands of a child who has excelled at school.
When misdirected parents take their kids out of school and put them back to work scavenging or out to the country to work Scott finds them in a heartbeat and with a wave of his powerful wand and some magical words the child shows up the next day books in hand and back at school.
I sometimes wonder whether his business card reads “Scott Neeson, Founder” or “Scott Neeson, Master Magician”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: