People

Our Team

Meet some of our people on the ground

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Duncan Bell

Co-Founder

My name is Duncan Bell and I am 58 years of age. I am married to Becci and have 5 grown children, 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter.
I worked as a manager at Waitrose on the Isle of Wight until I travelled to Phnom Penh in Cambodia where I worked as a missionary for two years from June of 2012. During that time, I worked for two different Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s). One of which worked in the slums in the south of the city providing help and support to the many needy families and addressing their various needs. My wife and I became Team Leaders for this organisation in Cambodia.
The other NGO I worked for offered work to former sex workers so that they could leave their former way of life behind. I had various jobs and responsibilities there including managing the Visitors Centre and being intercessory prayer coordinator.
I have since set up this charity to enable people to sponsor a child from the slums to go to a good school, receive a good education, get good qualifications, and move on in life.
This offers hope and opportunities to children and in some cases support to their families.
I enjoy cycling, and reading a variety of books, and used to ring the church bells on a Sunday morning when I was living on The Isle of Wight.
My time is now spent between our home in Scotland and Cambodia.

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Chanthy Chen

Coordinator in Phnom Penh

My name is Chanthy Chen and I am the Phnom Penh coordinator for Helping Hand.
I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and a Master’s degree in Education and Community Development which was gained at the Asian Social Institute, Manila, Philippines.
After I graduated from my Bachelor’s degree I worked for one of Cambodia’s most recognized and respected organizations; Cambodia Children’s Fund for a year. During this time I realized that I needed - and wanted, to increase my understanding of helping the poor in my country. I then applied for, and got, a scholarship to study in the Philippines.
When I was a child I had a dream that I just wanted to stand in front of people and say something good to them, to help and encourage them but I did not understand this dream.
However after I graduated from High School I really understood that the subjects I wanted to study were Psychology, Education and Community, all of which can help and encourage others.
Now that I am working for Helping Hand. I am able to make my dream come true because I can use my skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to help Cambodian children and their families live better lives and have a better future.
I am so excited to see the children show so much enthusiasm for the opportunity they have to have a good education. I am able to not only encourage them but help them as well by understanding their needs and situation of living in the slums.
To change a child’s life is to not only give them a good education but to help and assist with their mental and physical needs as well.

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Maaret Liukka

Digital Coordinator

My name is Maaret Liukka, and I am originally from Finland.
My love for Cambodia goes back to 2002, which is when I first ventured into the Kingdom of Wonder while backpacking in Asia. My heart was stolen then at an instant, by this place and more importantly its people.
Over the years, I have returned time after time, never having lost the connections that had become like family to me.
After graduating with a degree in Communications in 2006, I stumbled onto a very interesting field, be it completely different from my true passions; and ended up working in the Online industry for more than a decade.
Finally, having been introduced to Helping Hand through a mutual connection, I spent my February of 2020 at the organization’s After School Center doing workshops varying from English to Geography to History to Latin Music.
The Khmer people are a unique and very tough folk. However, opportunities are limited when your daily earnings are barely enough to sustain your family – hence education will not be the priority when you need to ensure your family has enough to eat. That is more than logical.
At Helping Hand, there are some extraordinary people - such as Duncan and Chanthy. However, I must tell you, the most extraordinary people are the students.
I have never witnessed children more motivated to learn. The reoccurring desired professions were a) Doctor b) Teacher c) Dentist d) Lawyer.
I am confident these dreams will become true,
I am now a fully dedicated Digital Coordinator for Helping Hand, with the aim of using my experience and knowledge in the industry for the benefit of the organization and the children and families it supports.

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Hillary Brown

English Teacher/Inspirer

My name is Hillary Brown. I am a native of New York City, who has been living
in Cambodia for 3 years.
I have been involved in some way shape or form in the 
teaching and volunteer sectors for over 28 years around the world. 
It is my core belief that those of us with the time and energy should try to give back to the world where possible.
While I enjoyed my initial spells volunteering, I grew disillusioned with many of the organizations/charities that I worked for. Many seemed to be bloated bureaucratically with not enough of the money reaching the people that it needed to.

Therefore in 2007 I decided to start my own NGO. Through forming my own
 NGO I knew that I would be able to control being able to deliver the core
 product of helping people. 
Over this period, we have managed to help influence the lives of thousands of people throughout the world, all of which has been achieved without needing full time staff members. 
Three years ago, I decided to move to Cambodia and quickly fell in love with the 
people and the culture. It was through living here that I met the people at
 Helping Hand.

Helping Hand are one the few NGO’s that I truly believe in, so have therefore decided
to volunteer as a teacher with them for at least 1 year. Aside from my NGO work I
have been an ESL teacher for 25+ years. I speak with a neutral accent and
 approach all my lessons with the idea that they should be fun. 
With this in my mind I feel that working directly with Helping Hand will be of great
benefit to the children. A child’s ability in English is the difference between 
those who have opportunities and those that do not.

Through my year long commitment, I hope to give these vulnerable children
 opportunities they would otherwise have not gotten, all done through the enjoyable environment of my classes.