‘Hug’ is our little teddy bear! ‘Hug’ started a journey in November 2011 when Steve, our UK Director, travelled to Cambodia with a group of friends and a suitcase full of teddy bears.
One special evening, we had tea with a group of girls between the ages of 8 and 16 and their mentors. They have been hurt and abused in indescribable ways. We were privileged to support them on their road to recovery.
After their meal, Steve reached into a bag and took out the bunch of Ratanak teddy bears. The gasp was audible along the table as they received and hugged each bear. They adorned the bears with hair bands and bracelets, and then hugged them some more.
A little 8-year-old girl Steve sat with leaned over and asked his name before naming her teddy after him. After ice cream and more fun it was time to say farewell and head off in opposite directions into the evening traffic. At the bottom of a set of steps in a central square, the same 8-year-old wandered over to Steve again. She looked him straight in the eye and said ‘Thank you Steve. As long as I live I will never forget you’.
And so was born the quest of Hug. We can’t all travel to Cambodia, but you can be a part of these lives through this little bear. We are looking to gather photographs for the Cambodians we work with. We want to let them know when they feel alone, helpless and unloved that there is a huge group of people around the world who will send them a big hug.
To date Hug has run the Edinburgh Marathon, climbed Machu Picchu, was called into Alcatraz and even joined the purple man in York!
You can buy a bear for only £12 (plus £3 p&p) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any photos, please send them to the same address. If you are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, follow Hug on his journey at @Hug4Ratanak.