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Ideas are funny things; they can be fleeting and disappear just as fast as they arrived, or they can take root and thrive. Frustratingly, you never really know the potential of a thought when something or someone, stirs your grey matter into action.

POD Projects, with its humble pickle jar beginnings (please see “our origin story” blog post), has not only taken root and thrived, but it continues to exceed all our expectations of what we thought we could achieve. Each new step, each new goal, has us planning and thinking, solving problems, dreaming, what-iffing and trouble shooting. Do this a thousand times and that’s when you see the progress, except for sewing in zippers…that will never get easier (see our “anatomy of a hygiene bag” blog post).

And before you know it, the years have passed and you are doing the best you can to make a difference, when one day Facebook “reminds” you that its been 10 years since this little idea kicked off in a rice field in Cambodia. Where did that time go? Sure, we all feel ten years older (there is no blog post – yet – about our collective aging!) but birthdays with an “0” on the end lead to a certain amount of reflection, and we have found that the positives of this journey have far outweighed the “challenging times”.

So, what lessons has the past decade taught us, and continues to teach us?

You can make a difference, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. We may be 5, but with your unwavering support, we are mighty. As the song goes…from little things, big things grow.

The power of perseverance wins the day, accepting that you need to keep moving forward, and sometimes backwards, to see the change happen. It can be testing, and it can be exhilarating, but it’s the sweet spot between these two emotional states that keeps you in the game.

The connections we have made with people from all over the world. The POD supporters (Podsters) who turn up for us time after time, encouraging and trusting us with their continued support has been the most delightful outcome of our endeavours. It’s the new faces who find us later on our journey, who help spread the POD word, who have fresh energy and positivity to share. It’s the like-minded groups and organisations we have met along the way, doing their great things, as we weave together a little goodness for our global family.

And then there is the joy! So many smiling faces; receiving a bag of rice, access to an education, a dignity bag. So many willing to help make all this happen and they do it with a smile and a big heart. We can’t stop smiling ourselves, when we see the successes that come from a small hand up. It’s the joy in the doing that will keep us going for many more birthdays to come.

And finally, and please indulge the sentimentality, at the core of it all is the solid foundation of our friendship, that is nurtured by the shared history we have, the building of skills we never knew we were capable of, and the straight talk only old friends feel safe to deliver! It’s the ebb and flow of responsibility that changes due to our working lives and our family’s needs. We adjust what we can do, and who can do it, and we keep on going. It’s the complete support, love and admiration we have for our extended POD family on the ground in Cambodia (we are looking at you Touch Darith) and without this friendship, POD Projects would not be what it is today.

Happy 10th Birthday to us and thank you to all our supporters…we will have an icy cold Gin & Tonic to celebrate when we touch down in Siem Reap in December!


Stunning capture of buddhist blessings graciously being received by the Pod Projects Team

Kulen Mountain, Siem Reap Cambodia 2023

Sealight Studio - Penny Barber

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