Thank you all very much for all your emails and support.
A million thanks to Just World International, our main partner and supporter. Thanks especially to Hilary, Jessica and Marie who have been so supportive of my work and continue to provide support to PIO. If it were not for them I could not be able to help so many children as I do today. I had the chance to publicly thank Just World on stage in front of the audience but unfortunately CNN needed to shorten everyone’s speech because the show was very long. You can watch my entire speech in our news section. I would also like to give many thanks to all the supporters and people who were moved by CNN heroes and donated to PIO to help children in Cambodia. Your support helps me to continue my important work. You can be a hero simply by getting involved. The children that you help by giving them the chance for an education and positive support, you are their everyday hero. Everyone has the power to give hope those children.
Steve and I had a great time in Los Angeles. That was a fabulous and amazing time in my life. There were 2,500 people in the award show and we sat in the front row next to Jessica Biel and her parents. Steve had a chance to talk with her and she was very sympathetic to all the Heroes stories. To be honest when I see Anderson Cooper in person I was thrilled. A year ago he traveled to Cambodia and broadcast live from Phnom Penh.
When I went up on stage I was sooo nervous….I almost cried. But I tried to speak from my heart to tell the world about the suffering of children, not just in Cambodia but around the world. I wish my Mom can see me when I received my award, but it was just a dream…she never come back.
I think Lucy Liu was a great choice for introduce my story. She seemed very familiar with my work and is actually ambassador for UNICEF. She even did the proper Cambodian hand greeting (chum rep sua) when I was going on stage but unfortunately CNN didn’t show that. She seems like a great person and we had a lot of pictures together at backstage. When I was backstage many celebrities came up to congratulate me on my work. Hugh Jackman came up and shook my hand and told me that he has visited the dumpsite in Cambodia and is familiar with the situation. Meg Ryan met me at the picture area to congratulate me and also told me that she also went to Cambodia and visited the dumpsite. She told me that my work was amazing.
It is great pleasure to be honored as one of Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2008. I still can’t believe it…this is like a dream. I was so happy that my hard work has been recognized to the world. It was amazing to get so many emails and messages from friends and supporters around the world once the show aired. Since CNN has aired my profile so many viewers were touched to see the suffering of the children, they decided to do something and directly supported my organization. I received over $7000 in private donations through the website after the show aired. I have also had a few foundations contact me interested in larger one time donations. Once things have been finalized I will be happy to tell you more details. I can say that CNN Heroes is an important program that gives voice to all the people that are doing selfless work in the world. By bringing the power of CNN viewers together with people who are continually doing selfless work in the world can indeed make a difference. It’s never too late or never too early to start do something.
After the show, the party was beautiful and a lot of people came to congratulate me and Steve. They couldn’t believe children live and work in dumpsites, a lot of them cried. The party was beautiful and had all the heroes pictures lit up and hanging on the walls. My story touched their heart. I will continue doing my job and I will stay by children side to the good, the sadness and suffering.
I ask you please to continue support my work and spread the word about PIO projects. I really appreciate your help and support. Please get involved, by donating, sponsoring a child or even just leaving comments on our new website. We are looking forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, please enjoy the pictures from the CNN Event. It was a night I will never forget.