Cassils focus on fledgling, grassroots charitable organizations
Friday, August 14, 2009
Published in the Vancouver Courier
John Cassils had just pulled out his video camera in a village in northern Laos in 1999 when he was invited into a hut to see a shaman dancing.
John, his wife Nina and four friends had been enjoying a 10 day trip by riverboat and four wheeled drive in the mountainous area near the Chinese border. They’d asked their driver to drop them off outside the village and walked in separately with no translator, although one friend who was in the Vietnam War spoke Lao.
A couple of heaps under a blanket in the corner of the hut soon drew John’s attention. They were the still figures of two young boys. John, a former family doctor, examined the three and four year old boys and found they were nearly dead from malnutrition. One child had lost 70 per cent of his vision and the other couldn’t stand because he had lost muscle strength.
In June 2009, Town & Country Magazine profiled Kenro Izu, Friends Without a Border, and the Angkor Hospital for Children.