Tabitha Foundation is a non-profit organisation seeking to help suffering families in Cambodia.


Tabitha's aim is to reach out to the despairing in their communities and help them to address their own needs in a holistic and sustainable way. Community development is achieved by encouraging personal savings, providing employment and income by teaching and selling Cambodian handcrafted items, and house-building by volunteers for families who cannot afford a home. Thereby transforming lives to fruitfulness with dignity!

100% of donations are applied to the programs in Cambodia - ZERO overheads!

Latest News

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Tabitha Cambodia's 20th Anniversary - Highlights 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of Tabitha Cambodia. Who would believe that one woman with a vision could improve the lot of more than 3.7 million Cambodian people in 20 years? Thanks to Tabitha's supporters from Australia and all around the world, Janne and her 50 staff continue to help and work tirelessly with the poorest families living in Cambodia today. Please read on to see some of the highlights of the first 20 years. Read the Full Story
Tabitha Cambodia's 20th Anniversary - Director's Report I remember our first office. My goodness, when it rained it flooded, toilets overflowed… and it always seemed to rain at night. Now we have been in our current location for the past ten years and I now live in a lovely home instead of one of the office rooms. In the early days there was gunfire and grenade blasts every night, now I just hear endless dogs barking at night. My first staff members were so frightened of everything, but now they are my assistants and managers. Setting up the cottage industry was such a challenge, “we have no skills” they said, “we have no resources”. Buying silk and cotton was beyond their grasp and using it to make our very first products, Christmas stockings, almost closed down the program as the staff didn't know about Christmas or stockings. They just believed I had crossed the line and was being ridiculous, and they were not far off! They thought I was going to wear those stockings on the street and people would laugh me out of the country. Now, they design and produce all kinds of products. Read the Full Story
News from the Field - November 2014 November 12, 2014 Dear friends and partners, This past week I was once again reminded of what poverty is. "Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the deprivation of basic human needs, which commonly includes food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care and education." I went on a site visit to Preah Samach Village in Prey Veng Province. It was disheartening at first - there are 1500 hundred families of which 90% are living in absolute poverty. It's a hard thing to see people living in absolute poverty - so much of Cambodia is stunningly beautiful, especially at this time of the year when the rains have come and food is growing in abundance - the colors of the greens and blues are a treat to the eye - the poverty is not. Read the Full Story
Darcy's Dream Team My journey with the Tabitha Foundation began when I was sixteen years old after my aunty returned from a build with amazing and inspiring stories. I, along with my family, friends and generous strangers fundraised for two years. Together we ran sausage sizzles, held private functions and sold more than 5,000 chocolates at my high school with the Cadbury chocolate drive. With every event public or private I was continually blown away by how supportive and generous people were. Strangers would stop to have conversations about the good work that we were doing and I absolutely loved telling them about the Tabitha Foundation and all the good work that they did in Cambodia. ‘Darcy’s Dream Team’ slowly came together over the two years and finally came together at the beginning of 2014. It consisted of both family and friends, ranging in age with the youngest being 12 years old! Some had been on board since day one, only two of the team members had been to Cambodia before and others had never been over seas. The team members came from both New South Wales and Victoria finally coming together in Phnom Penh on June 28th, where the journey really began.   Read the Full Story
Cambodia Calling In the 2014 June/July school holidays, our family was fortunate enough to be a part of a group of 19 people from Gerringong who went to Cambodia to help build houses for rural villagers in the province of Kompong Thom. The experience our family had was unforgettable and rewarding to think that we have contributed to improving the lot of people less fortunate than ourselves. Prior to the trip, our group had been busily raising funds for the Tabitha Foundation, the organisation that co-ordinates the house-building in Cambodia. We managed to raise approximately $35 000, through an array of various fund-raising ventures, including dinners, concerts, barbecues, oral presentations and private sponsorships. These funds enabled us to build 21 houses. This trip incorporated a tour of some of the major tourist sites in Cambodia, such as S21 and the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh- an emotional and disturbing experience, as well as World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. We also interacted with locals at every opportunity, picking up a few basic phrases of the Khmer language. There were many activities organised by our amazing guide, Simon Godden, who had us viewing craft workshops, silk factories, circuses etc as well as organising some splendid restaurants to dine in.   Read the Full Story
Cambodian Student Housebuilders A Young Housebuilder The first learning outcome I would like to address is 'undertaking new challenges'. The phrase new challenges before meant little to me; it meant taking on new things and just experimenting with possibilities, example sports and languages. However, the orientation at the Tabitha main headquarters led me to a realization that the term new challenges is far broader than I had thought it was, and can also be used to describe a change in lifestyle. The one most important thing that was demanded from us house builders was respect. Respect. True, as the founder of the organization had said, our generation is a rather spoilt generation. We do not fully understand the word respect, and nor can we fully understand what hardships in life really meant. The fact that the one thing she had stressed on was just respect really surprised me, and my first reaction was that even without having to stress on it, respect is needed wherever we go and for whatever we do and that it was obvious. I did not realize, though, the gravity of the term, until the one hour long orientation was over, and until I started to grasp the reason behind her words. Thus, I concluded that being respectful is the most important 'new challenge' in this activity. Compared to this, the nailing of floorboards - my previous 'new challenge' - seems rather insignificant. Read the Full Story
Tabitha People - Janne Ritskes "Selling all that I had to establish Tabitha Cambodia left me wondering how it would all work out. Three months later, the cupboard was bare. There was no money. It was almost over before it started. Then the miracles began." - Janne Ritskes, Tabitha Founder, 1995 You may wonder how a single woman from Canada planted herself in the middle of Phnom Penh in 1994 to create what is now Tabitha Cambodia. In the first of a series of articles introducing some of the key people in Tabitha Cambodia, we go back to the beginnings of Tabitha to meet founder, Janne Ritskes. Janne was born the ninth child of a large family in Holland, and immigrated with them to Canada in 1951. Her experiences in an immigrant family environment, and through helping fellow migrants establish themselves in a new home, led her to discover her passion for development work. Read the Full Story
Letter from Janne - March 2014 Dear friends and partners, Yesterday my daughter Miriam and I went out to the projects – Miriam for a class assignment – myself to check on some of our work. It is the time of year when Miriam begins asking about what I want for my birthday – it’s a conversation we have each year – my birthday is in April and coincides with Easter. My normal quick response is a hug and a kiss – a response that my girl just ignores – what do you really want? As Miriam was taking pictures for her school assignment – her empathy for the people in our communities – for the children – leave her emotionally drained – “They are so very beautiful – they are so poor – why mama, why?” Read the Full Story
Kep building team nails it It was a bleak, wet and windy Perth that we left behind for the heat and humidity of Phnom Penh.  But I was prepared, because I'd done it before - albeit once, back in 2005. There were a few days of relaxation, meeting new building team members, catching up with those we've met here before.  There was a definite sense of anticipation as we prepared to head to this trip's building destination - Kep, in Kompot Province. As our convoy of mini buses made their way towards the coast, we made a quick bathroom stop.  It was the first encounter with a squat toilet for some.  Not 5 minutes down the road we made another stop so 'someone' (possibly my Dad) could do an ice cream run at one of his favourite pit stops.  There's nothing like being the one single mini bus to jump out and grab handfuls of ice creams while the other buses watch on.  On the plus side, we did discover actual toilets at this stop, so really, we were actually doing a service for the whole team by stopping for ice cream (you're welcome). On arrival in Kep we enjoyed a lazy afternoon and dinner by the South China Sea, before an early night in preparation of the next day's early start. Read the Full Story

Tabitha Foundation Australia

Welcome to TFA's website

Tabitha programs impact an amazing number of desperately poor children, women and families. We are not aware of any other program that is as effective for your contribution, delivering measurable results in alleviating poverty.

We hope that you find the site informative and interesting. The site will provide up to date news, stories and information on future events.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have information to share or would like to find out more about our programs.

Vincent Moran

"Australians have embraced the plight of Cambodian families with passion and energy. For this we are truly thankful"

Janne Ritskes
Tabitha Founder

"We don't view our contribution as a donation but rather as an investment - and we were left with the feeling that Janne and her team were well placed to invest our contribution in an efficient and productive manner"

Mark Cubit
Cubit Family Foundation




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