Oregon Coast Winery Owner Expands Humanitarian
Efforts in Cambodia
|The orphanage in Cambodia: one of the first
buildings built (photo Shackelford).
(Nehalem, Oregon) - Ray Shackelford, owner of Nehalem Bay
Winery and Depoe Bay Winery, is expanding his humanitarian efforts in
a downtrodden region of Cambodia.
In recent years, his money and actual manpower helped build
two schools and a sewing industry that helps create an economy for two
towns. Now, in the Cambodian village of Trung Treung - about 90 miles
southwest of Phenom Pen, the orphanage that began last year has expanded
from one building to three, allowing for more babies to be rescued.
Through Shackelford’s Anyway Foundation, he has raised
about $3000 to help these impoverished people and others in the region
not just survive but to help themselves. But the vast majority of the
money spent - in the tens of thousands - has come from his own pocket.
|Shackelford personally helps out in Cambodia
Originally, Shackelford started helping out the tiny village
of Chheneng, in the Mondulkiri province of Cambodia, an impoverished place
populated by the Pnong, an ethnic minority that suffered much under regimes
of the last century in both Cambodia and Vietnam. The village had no running
water or electricity, and they have little to eat on a regular basis,
mostly foraging in the jungle for food.
Shackelford has been helping out with donations and strategies
that have given them a means to help themselves – much more than
just a handout. Shackelford, along with a pair of other local men and
villagers, have built two schools, another well for the people, and a
sewing shop that is helping them on their way to self-sufficiency.
|People in the village of Chheneng, Cambodia.
Then, in late 2007, he began an orphanage a few hundred
miles away from Chheneng. The first building at the orphanage was remodeled
at that time, and a second and third building have now been added. There
are currently 13 children at the orphanage, but the capacity has now been
expanded to 20 – which Shackelford believes will be reached sometime
The first building went from a dirt floor to a solid floor
last year, and a western-style bathroom was added for increased hygiene.
There are better living quarters for the nannies, a groundskeeper, and
the facility has a clean water system – the only one in this area.
“That’s one reason the babies are so healthy,”
|Nehalem Bay Winery, on the north coast.
The babies range in age from three months to just under
one year. One three-month-old came to the facility so undernourished she
looked like only a few weeks old. Now, she too is quite healthy.
Other successes of the orphanage include five of the original
11 babies have been adopted in the last year. There is now one nanny for
two babies as well – a total of 13 babies altogether at the moment.
Heartbreaking stories still loom, but they soon turn to successes.
Such as the sickly infant found abandoned under a rubber
tree in recent months, apparently without food for maybe days. Or the
other little one who had lived on only water after the grandmother became
too sick to move and take care of her.
“She probably would’ve been dead soon,”
Shackelford said. “For eight days, she’d had nothing but a
rag to suck on and water. The father had died of AIDS, and the mother
left the child with the grandmother, who could not care for her.”
The grandmother died shortly after. But both babies were
nursed back to health and later adopted out, making a happy ending.
The water system comes from a tower, which pumps water
from a nearby pond. The water is then run through several filters to clean
it up, and then boiled before use in the formula. There is now even some
electricity in the facility via generator, which among other important
aspects, allows the nannies to watch TV on their off hours.
Although they will be able to host up to 20 kids for the
first year, more space may become available later on.
Shackelford said that when one of these children gets adopted
to a western country it’s like hitting the lottery for them. “Just
the new life, being a kid from Cambodia and then going to be being raised
in a western country like Spain or France or whatever,” he said.
Shackelford is hoping to coax more donations from the outside
world through his Anyway Foundation. Each child costs approximately $158
per month. The new additions of the two buildings cost $7000 – which
are staggeringly cheap by western standards, but the bills do stack up.
Bay Winery is located on the north Oregon coast, between Wheeler and
Nehalem. Contact Shackelford at 503-368-9463.
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