Our Projects

Over the last 15 years TCF has substantially improved the lives of 2.8 million people in 26 different countries mainly in South East Asia and East Africa. The focus is on supporting basic development projects in the following sectors:

    • Our main countries of focus are Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, East Timor, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Over the years we have funded projects in many other countries including Afganistan, Bangladesh, India, Papua New Guinea, North Korea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.Water and Sanitation
    • Health and Disability
    • Education
    • Housing
    • Agriculture and Livelihoods
    • Emergency Aid, and
    • Peace

    In our projects we value measurable impact and sustainability. Two of the projects that TCF are supporting are described in the following.

    Listen Up Cambodia

    The Charitable Foundation has supported the work of All Ears Cambodia since July 2016 and the following is the story of one of the patients helped through the program.

    Chreng Kannika is a seventy-one year old woman originally from Prey Veng province. She has recurrent chronic middle ear disease in her right ear. She has had ear infections for most of her life and remembers the problem starting somewhere in early childhood. As a girl in rural Cambodia, her problem was almost considered normal – something most kids had – as many children in her village suffered with similarly discharging ears. Indeed, chronic otitis media (chronic middle ear disease) is frequently met in children (and adults) by our clinical team. Its effects, however, can be devastating. The disease, which is a culmination of chronic infection within the middle ear space, a perforated eardrum and recurrent discharge of pus, causes significant long-term effects on early communication, language development, and educational progress. This in turn can lead to loss of vocational opportunities and economic hardship.

    Owing to its proximity, the spread of infection beyond the middle ear can extend to other structures such as the meninges and brain. The effects can be life-threatening – extradural abscess, brain abscess, subdural abscess, sigmoid sinus thrombophlebitis, otitic hydrocephalus, and meningitis, are all potentially fatal consequences of long-standing middle ear disease.

    All Ears Cambodia (AEC) picked up on Kannika’s problems when she was seen for her first consultation in Phnom Penh. Her condition was so advanced that not only had she lost most of her hearing in her right ear, the disease had also eaten away at the small bones inside her middle ear. The underlying infection was curbed and a careful eye is being kept on her progress.earexam

    Adding further to her burden, Kannika now suffers the effects of age-related hearing loss (presbyacusis). Older people are particularly vulnerable to hearing problems. The ageing process is the commonest cause of inner ear damage in adults. Most people over sixty are affected. Presbyacusis is a degenerative process affecting both ears. Although the degree of disability varies from one individual to the next, for many older people this form of hearing loss brings anxiety, loneliness and depression. It results from irreversible biochemical changes within the inner ear. The resulting structural damage to highly complex sensory cells causes sensorineural hearing loss. This type of loss may have serious effects on the individual’s ability to hear and understand speech. The vital components of speech, usually high frequency consonants, are lost. To older listeners, sounds may seem distorted and voices difficult to understand. They may experience further problems in situations where speech is imbedded in background noise, or where there is more than one speaker. Many have the associated phenomenon known as cochlear recruitment, which can lead to moderately loud noise becoming physically uncomfortable, even painful. Whilst the main cause of presbyacusis is ageing, factors such as genetic predisposition, heart disease, excessive noise, poor nutrition, and previous middle ear infections, may also play a role. Hearing loss caused by presbyacusis is permanent and cannot be reversed with medicine or surgery. It can, however, be treated using appropriate hearing aids.

    In Kannika’s case wearing a hearing aid on her right ear proves difficult as using a hearing aid is contraindicated by middle ear infection. She can, however, wear a hearing aid on the left ear and her overall degree of hearing loss is significantly disabling that she desperately needs amplification in order to communicate and hear others. Accordingly, AEC went through the appropriate steps of aural rehabilitation and she was duly fitted with a post aural hearing aid. She was seen again some four weeks on for her follow-up appointment. Kannika reported that she hadn’t heard her family or friends properly in years. She remarked that to hear clearly again was something she thought she would never experience again; something lost forever. She said she was now able to understand conversation more and felt more confident in joining in when others are talking.

    (The name of the person has been changed for purposes of patient confidentiality and the picture does not portray Ms Kannika)

    Housing for the Poor

    TCF has worked with Habitat for Humanity since 2004 in Cambodia and have been instrumental in creating the revolving fund that HFHC is using for housing loans to poor people in the settlements outside Phnom Penh. From 2014 TCF is now supporting Habitat for Humanity in Nepal to implement a Community Development Project around the same Save and Build scheme that is at the core of Habitat for Humanity’s approach.

     Nepal has a population of 30 million and is among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 157 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index.  One of the most deprived segments of the rural population are the Tharu, an indigenous group from the western lowlands.  Under the Kamaiya system, tens of thousands of Tharu worked as bonded labourers (without remuneration) to repay debts owed by their ancestors.  The Kamaiya system was declared illegal in 2000, which saw thousands of Tharu households receive allocations of land from the government, but little other support. 

     While most households now have land, the majority lack access to basic facilities such as clean water and toilets, and houses are generally small, unhygienic and not durable.  As an ethnic minority the Tharu face significant discrimination and limited access to opportunities.  Alongside the Tharu, there are significant numbers of working poor families living in the Western lowlands in Nepal.

     Under the Ghorahi Community Development Project, Habitat for Humanity Nepal seeks to improve living conditions for 270 Tharu ex-Kamaiya households and other poor households in Ghorahi Municipality, Dang District.

    They will provide housing loans to 270 ex-Kamaiya and other poor households in the project area, allowing them to build new or to upgrade existing houses.  Community wells will be provided where existing water supply is inadequate, alongside sanitation loans and hygiene training.  Households will participate in Appropriate Construction Technology (ACT) training, aimed at teaching basic building techniques using locally available materials to ensure quality and durability of housing, and make provision for any ongoing maintenance.   Loan repayments will go into a revolving fund, making loans to even more families possible. 


    Former bonded labourer Chandrakala, built a new house from a loan accessed through the project.  She joined a savings group, which gave her financial literacy and capacity to save, and after saving some money together with her husband, borrowed around $650 to build a new house for her family. (before and after photos above)